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Are you aware of the dangers posed by lead poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Lead is dangerous. It does not take much of it to pose a serious health hazard. An amount equal to one grain of sugar or salt can cause permanent injury. Children are especially at risk because lead harms their developing brains. Consequences to health can be severe. Lead poisoning can cause permanent health problems and can even be fatal. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children are well known based on decades of research. They include loss of IQ, difficulty focusing and behavioral problems. Yet, because these symptoms are potentially from other sources, lead poisoning is often undiagnosed and not addressed. Lead poisoning most often occurs in old housing If you live in a structure that was built before 1978, there’s a high risk that the walls are covered with lead paint. If that old paint is chipping and flaking, beware. And even if some effort is made to remove the lead threat, if it isn’t done properly and by a certified company, the threat can remain. Children between the ages of 6 months to 2 years old are most at risk. They crawl on the floor, slide their hands over window sills and then put their hands in their mouth. So old paint chips and lead contaminated dust often find their way into a young child’s mouth. New laws In recent weeks, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to further address the issue of lead poisoning in the state. The bill directs the California Department of Public Heath to raise awareness among health care providers, parents on Medi-Cal and other parents with children at high risk of lead poisoning about the threat of childhood lead poisoning and their right to have their children tested for lead. It is crucial that parents with younger children in older housing make sure their children are tested for lead poisoning on an annual basis up to age 2. The laws of Los Angeles and California put an obligation on landlords to remove any known lead hazards and to behave responsibly when handling a potential threat from lead based paint. Once tenants are educated about the health risks of lead hazards, they are in a better position to hold landlords accountable and to ensure their homes are safe.

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Why did people ever make lead-based paint?

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Monday, August 19, 2019. Lead-based paint is a serious health hazard. It’s especially dangerous for children. When they breathe in the dust or even put paint chips directly into their mouths, they can suffer from learning disabilities, IQ issues, mood swings, aggression issues and much more. Lead can stunt their development. While some of the signs only show up as the child gets older, exposure at a young age can have an impact for the rest of their life. What you may wonder, then, is why lead paint was ever used. You know that people did not understand the negative impact of lead in previous generations. They didn’t know it was toxic. Just look at the Romans, who used it in pipes and plates and cups. Only in recent decades have people really discovered just how bad it is. But that doesn’t explain why it was used, only why they didn’t avoid it. What advantages did it have? Drying time First off, lead additives made paint dry more quickly. That was a huge benefit for home builders and contractors. They could get the job done far more quickly. That means they could take more jobs and earn more money. People embraced fast-drying paint and wanted the lead additives to increase production. Durability Another issue with paint is durability, and adding lead just made the paint stand up to more abuse. People loved this because it meant they had to repaint far less often. Durable paint in a home made the home look beautiful for longer, even as it took the constant abuse that comes with daily life. Moisture resistance Both inside of a home and outside, one of the main benefits of paint is just protecting the wood or metal below from moisture. Paint stops rot and rust. It makes homes last. Lead added greater resistance to moisture and helped homes stay in good condition for longer. This made it very valuable and preferred by homeowners all over the country. In addition, since children often put toys in their mouths, lead-based paint saw extensive use on toys. Again, it protected the toys from moisture. As we now know, though, that meant that children suffered direct exposure to dangerous lead levels when simply playing with their toys. Pigments Finally, lead helped with the pigmentation of certain colors of paint. It saw extensive use in white, cream and bright red — three of the most popular paint colors. Lead really was an all-around additive with a lot of different uses. Your rights Whatever the reasons for its use, exposure to lead paint can have devastating effects. Has your child gotten exposed to lead paint? Is he or she dealing with learning disorders and developmental problems? If so, it is important for you and your family to know what legal rights you have in California.

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Could your child’s mood swings be linked to lead poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Friday, August 16, 2019. It’s now commonly recognized that exposure to lead-based paint results in reduced IQ, ADHD and other cognitive harm. Medical researchers have also concluded that there is a link between lead exposure in children and aggression and in violent crime in teenagers and young adults. Kids growing up in East Los Angeles housing who as babies or toddlers were exposed to lead through the cracked and peeling paint on walls and buildings may be able to link their aberrant behaviors and violent tendencies to an early-life exposure to lead paint. There is no safe blood lead level Early exposure to lead-based paint cause structural changes to a children’s developing brains. That is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has repeatedly stated that “there is no safe blood lead level.” What that means is that any amount of lead in a child’s body is unsafe and capable of causing neurological, behavioral and physical harm included reduced IQ, aggression, ADHD, delayed puberty and other harm. Lead paint used in old houses Lead-based paint is so dangerous it was outlawed in 1978. Lead-based paint is no longer used on toys and homes in the United States. But just like asbestos, which was once a very common building material used across industries, many older apartment buildings and home have walls, windows and doors that are covered with lead-based paint. In fact, the law presumes that every house and apartment built prior to 1978 contains lead-based paint. If that lead-based paint is chipping, chalking or deteriorating, your child may be getting poisoned without you even knowing. Could your teenager have been exposed to lead paint as a youngster? Not every teen with violent tendencies can link these and other negative behaviors to early exposure to lead-based paint. Sociopaths have existed since the first caveman bopped his caveman neighbor over the head with a mastodon bone. But if you suspect that your teen’s aggression could be attributed to the paint chips they nibbled on as a toddler, you might be on to an important discovery. Help is out there for those who seek it If the damage is permanent and irreversible, you may wonder why you should even look for a link. After all, if it can’t be fixed, what’s the point? But linking the violence to the paint exposure opens the door to possible legal action that could lead to a financial settlement that might make life significantly easier for your child.

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Lead poisoning can have a negative impact on a child’s learning

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Children who suffer from lead poisoning often have some delayed abilities. This can present challenges for them in school. It is imperative that school districts that have children affected by lead take the initiative to ensure that these kids have the best educational opportunities available. When there is lead exposure that impairs a child’s ability to learn, there must be accommodations made to ensure success. It isn’t fair that a child should be set up to fail just because they suffer from this condition. Blood lead level matters The blood lead level of the student is one of the primary concerns. At the lowest level, the student might have a decrease in test scores. As the lead level rises, other issues become possible. These include: Decrease in proficiency of math, reading and science Likely classification as learning disabled 30% increase in failure rate of reading and math tests in third grade Lowered scores on reading readiness tests Lowered fourth grade performance scores Inclusion in special education Possibility of involvement in juvenile justice system How schools can help Because the lead exposure has a negative impact on the intelligence quotient, or IQ, the teachers working with these students must be prepared for dealing with the reduced ability to process information. The exact method that works for the situation depends on the child. Some children might need school information presented in a specific manner. For example, they might need simplified instruction sheets or to have many verbal reminders while completing a task. They may require a longer time limit for a test. A child who has lead poisoning-related disabilities might need to have an Individualized Education Program or 504 Plan put into place to accurately reflect their needs for the school year. Each year, teachers and other included parties can build on the plan from the year prior. Parental involvement Having the parents involved in the child’s education is beneficial. Reinforcing learning concepts and appropriate behavior models at home can be beneficial for the children. The parents might also opt to seek compensation for the lead poisoning. This could provide funding that will help them to be able to afford programs that can benefit the children. Ultimately, the children deserve to have a bright future without having to worry about a poison that can do so much damage.

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Lead exposure can cause intellectual disabilities

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. Children who were exposed to lead may suffer from intellectual disabilities, affecting their entire future. The disabilities will not go away as they age. Instead, they will have to learn how to compensate for them. It is possible for children with intellectual disabilities to learn new skills, but doing so will take time. This can make school more challenging, and it makes trying to learn things for work difficult. As a parent of a child who might have been exposed to lead, it is imperative that you know the signs early on so you can to minimize the impacts. Reduced intellectual capacity People often speak out their IQ. This has to do with the person’s ability to reason, problem solve, make decisions and learn new things. A child who has a diminished intellectual capacity will be unable to do these things to the same level as their peers. Anyone with an IQ of less than 70 is considered to be intellectually challenged. Signs can occur early in life As early as infancy, parents might notice signs that something is amiss. You might hear people speak about milestones that the children should reach. If these aren’t met within the standard time frame, the kid may be suffering from an intellectual disability. Some signs to look for include: Crawling, sitting and walking at a later time than their peers Difficulties relaying thoughts to others Trouble talking or starting to talk late Problem-solving and logical thinking difficulties Inability to do daily self-care tasks without assistance Not being able to link consequences to actions Effects of these disabilities The severity of the disability plays a significant role in how the person will have to cope throughout life. In the most serious cases, they will be unable to live alone. For others, they will require accommodations during school and work to help them learn the information they need to know. For the parents, this can be a rather difficult situation when the cause is exposure to lead. The child might need extensive medical care and therapy. This can be costly, so some parents seek compensation to help cover the expenses that come from the effects of the exposure to lead.

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Lead poisoning increases your child’s risk of ADHD

By Riley Law Group PC on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. It is normal for children to display different behaviors as they grow older. Whether that is due to external influences, exploration of boundaries or because of unidentified medical concerns, parents typically observe their children learning new things and responding to numerous situations in a variety of ways. But in some cases, your child may exhibit undesirable behaviors. If they begin to fidget nonstop, cannot finish their tasks or have increasing trouble with waiting for their turn, they could be suffering from a medical condition. And if your child receives a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), lead poisoning could be to blame. Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to deteriorated lead-based paint Certain chemicals contribute to psychiatric disorders such as ADHD by disrupting brain development. One of those toxins is lead from deteriorated lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978. Low-income boys are at risk of exposure to lead While having elevated levels of lead in the blood does not necessarily mean your child will develop ADHD, it increases the probability. The signature deficits caused by lead poisoning in children are: Reduced IQ ADHD Language and speech delays Aggression Delayed puberty If you begin to wonder why your child can no longer focus, follow directions or control their emotions, ask your pediatrician to test your child for lead poisoning. Blood lead can be tested with a simple blood test. If you child has an elevated blood lead level, call us because we can help. Riley Law Group PC is the #1 lead poisoning and slum housing law firm in California.

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Lead poisoning doesn’t only affect children, workers also at risk

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC on Thursday, December 27, 2018. Even though lead poisoning is often discussed relating to children because of the serious effects it has on their brain development, many adults are at risk for lead poisoning at work. In fact, thousands of people in the United States work under conditions where enough lead is present to harm their health.  Workers in certain industries are more at risk Lead is present in many industries, including some you might not expect. We often think of children accidentally eating paint chips and being exposed to lead, but adults are more often exposed through breathing in lead dust. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the body absorbs higher levels of lead when it is breathed in. You might be exposed to dangerous levels of lead if your work involves: Construction or painting Battery manufacturing or recycling Indoor shooting ranges Recycling scrap metal Making or repairing radiators Builds or repairs with lead, brass, or bronze Lead dust you encounter at work can also end up in your home. It sticks to work clothes or shoes, or gets in your car, and soon your children are exposed as well. How does lead poisoning affect adults? Even low levels of lead can be dangerous if you are exposed over many years at the same job. In the short term, lead poisoning may cause abdominal pain, headaches, memory loss and muscle weakness. But, lead could be causing damage to the body even if someone has no obvious symptoms. If exposed for a long period of time, high levels of lead in adults can lead to: High blood pressure, which increases risk of heart attack or stroke Decreased kidney function Increased risk of miscarriage Brain damage causing tremors, mood swings and other problems Difficulty concentrating or remembering Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm Mood disorders At work or at home, lead continues to cause concern for California families. Those working in at-risk industries should have their blood lead level checked regularly. Employers are also required by law to provide protections from lead exposure. If you’re concerned about lead exposure at your job, Cal/OSHA’s Lead in the Workplace Helpline can provide more information: (866) 627-1587.

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What Are The Early Signs of Lead Poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC on Friday, July 27, 2018. Approximately 24 million homes in the United States contain dangerous and highly toxic deteriorated lead-based paint. More than 500,000 children 1 to 5 years in age have elevated blood levels. Blood levels as low as 5 mcg/dL are sufficient to cause permanent cognitive, neurological, emotional and behavioral problems in young children.  Toddlers 1 to 3 years old are particularly at risk because they play on the floor and put their hands, toys, books — you name it — in their mouth on a constant basis. That hand-to-mouth behavior can transfer lead dust and lead paint chips into a child’s mouth in sufficient quantity to result in lead poisoning. Not all houses or apartments have lead-based paint. Lead was outlawed in the mid-1970s and is not used in modern paints. However, you should assume that any house or apartment built prior to 1978 (and there are literally millions of such homes in the U.S.) contain lead-based paint. Lead-based paint that is chipping, flaking, cracking, chalking or which is the subject of constant friction (e.g., double hung windows and doors opening and closing) is exceedingly dangerous as it can be ingested or inhaled by children. Lead and/or lead-based paint can also be found on old toys, pottery from Mexico or Central America and certain homeopathic remedies and candies from Latin America and Asia. Be careful using these products! Symptoms of Lead Poisoning Lead poisoning is “asymptomatic.” That means it is a medical condition that does not show specific symptoms that can be immediately associated with lead. Infants exposed to lead before birth may be impacted with: Premature birth Low birth weight Slow or delayed growth Symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include: Learning delays Delayed or faulty speech Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping Aggression Irritability Tripping and falling Abdominal pain Vomiting Hearing loss Seizures Symptoms of adult lead poisoning may include: Pain in muscles or joints Headache Memory problems Difficulty concentrating Mood problems High blood pressure Abdominal pain Low sperm count or sperm abnormalities Miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth in pregnant women Very high lead levels can cause nervous system problems, kidney damage, seizures, loss of consciousness or death in children and adults. Lead Poisoning Prevention Lead poisoning is very, very serious. As a result, you should speak to your pediatrician and have your child blood tested at 12 and 24 months. Blood tests for lead are mandatory if your child receives government benefits (e.g., MediCal). Blood tests are the only way to determine if your child has lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable. You can help prevent lead poisoning by making sure your pre-1978 home or apartment is free from deteriorating, flaking, peeling, chipping or chalking paint. In addition, you should: Wash. Frequently wash hands and toys. Dust. Keep surfaces dust-free. Keep floors clean. Remove shoes before entering your home. Clear pipe residue. Run cold water before using, to help remove lead in pipes. Provide a play space that is not on soil. Plant grass, cover soil with mulch, provide a sandbox, or designate a patio play area. Maintain a healthy diet. Good nutrition and regular meals may reduce absorption of lead. Children need sufficient vitamin C, calcium, and iron to help inhibit lead absorption. No Biting! Make sure your child is not chewing on window sills (lead-based paint is sweet) or putting paint chips in her mouth! Using basic precautions can help you protect your family and yourself from lead exposure and avoid potentially serious harm. If you have questions about lead poisoning, call our firm.

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Lead poisoning majorly impacts pregnancy

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Most families understand the risks lead poisoning has on their children – often leading to significant brain and nervous system damage. However, lead poisoning can impact your unborn child if the mother is exposed to lead during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman ingests lead through breathing or swallowing, it will pass from the mother to the baby – impacting both people’s health including: risk of miscarriage, baby is born prematurely or too small, hurts the baby’s brain, kidneys and nervous system, and cause future learn or behavior problems. It’s incredibly important for pregnant women to know what factors puts them at risk for lead poisoning and what they can do about it. What puts me at risk? According to the National Capital Poison Center, pregnant women should be tested for lead if they have any of these risk factors: Recent arrival to the U.S. from a country with a lot of environmental lead Living near a source of lead, for example lead mines or battery recycling plants Working in a lead industry or living with someone who does Having a lead-based hobby, for example stained glass Using lead-based pottery for food or drinks Using lead-based cosmetics, such as imported kohl or sarma Using spices, herbs, or medicines that could be contaminated with lead Repairing or renovating a home with lead paint Living in a home with lead in the water pipes Having a history of lead poisoning; lead is stored in bone for decades and is released into the blood during pregnancy Living with someone with a high lead level Even pregnant women with only one risk factor can have lead poisoning, so every pregnant women should check with a health care professional about lead risks and if blood testing is needed.

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High-Risk Toddlers In State Program Missed Lead Test, Group Says

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Friday, March 9, 2018. Nearly three-fourths of California toddlers enrolled in a state-run low-income insurance program did not have their blood tested for lead, according to a recent analysis by health organization. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that conducts research and education related to health issues, studied state records between 2012 and 2016, and determined children enrolled in the Medi-Cal program did not receive the required tests. California law requires testing for lead at ages 1 and 24 months because the highly potent toxin can cause permanent damage in children. This includes neurological, physical and physiological harm in your child such as IQ deficiency, ADHD, aggression, language delay, delayed growth and a lifetime of problems. Low-income children also are at the highest risk for exposure to lead. Although anyone can be affected, those from lower-income families are more likely to live in older rental apartments or houses with deteriorated lead-based paint built prior to 1978. Even microscopic particles of lead dust can be dangerous when ingested by a small child. How Widespread Is The Problem? The data obtained by EWG last month show that about 529,000 toddlers in Medi-Cal during a four-year period did not receive required lead tests. That means about only 28 percent of children in the program were tested from 2012-2016. Testing is essential to find the children who have been exposed and protect against further exposure. If you believe your child missed a lead test and was possibly exposed to lead, talking with an experienced attorney can help you determine your legal options.

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