What are the Early Signs of Toxic Metal Poisoning?
Lead poisoning has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. It comes from a variety of sources, including lead paint that was used to paint buildings years ago, lead plumbing, lead from well water, and even in playground equipment and toys that are imported into the United States from China. Though anybody exposed to lead is at risk, it is particularly dangerous for young children because their bodies absorb the heavy metal at a higher rate than is true of adults. To get an idea of exactly how widespread the problem is, consider this: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly half a million children under the age of five have been impacted, and a Reuters investigation revealed almost 3,000 locations across the country that had lead poisoning rates at least twice those that raised alarm bells in the city of Flint, Michigan. Though federal laws require those who own homes built before 1978 to let tenants or buyers know when lead paint is present, that does not mean that everybody adheres to the law, and that means that people may be at risk without even realizing it. If you live in a building that was built before 1978, it is important for you to know the early signs of toxic metal poisoning, and to take immediate action if you or someone you love begins to show symptoms.
The early signs of lead poisoning take different forms depending upon whether the victim is a child or an adult, as well as on the degree of exposure to the toxic material. In children who have been exposed to lead for as short a period as three to six weeks, the first sign is usually a lessening of their level of enthusiasm. They may become more irritable and show signs of losing their dexterity or other physical abilities. They may also be sluggish or express that they are feeling under the weather. Headaches, abdominal pain and vomiting and lack of appetite are also early warning signs that may be mixed. Of most concern are neurological symptoms that impact coordination and are an indication of brain damage or mental retardation.
In adults, the impact of lead poisoning is significantly different, and may include damage to the reproductive organs or high blood pressure, but the early warning signs are similar. They include fever and headaches, sluggishness and vomiting. Victims are frequently irritable and may experience hallucinations, loss of coordination, or seizures. They can also lose muscle strength.
Lead poisoning has caused untold tragedies across the United States, and is frequently a result of negligence. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we have successfully represented many victims of toxic metal poisoning, winning them financial compensation for the damages that they have suffered. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your family.