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St. Louis Lead Poisoning

The lead poisoning law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP is helping the residents of St. Louis, Missouri fight the permanent and devastating effects of childhood lead poisoning. In 2014, more than 3300 of St. Louis’s children tested for toxic levels of lead in their blood. Unlike the City of Flint, Michigan, where that lead poisoning epidemic was caused by inadequate testing and treating of the city’s water supply, St. Louis’ crisis is the result of an older housing-stock and inadequate financial resources to abate the pervasive lead hazard. Nearly 90% of all housing in the City of St. Louis was built before 1978—the year lead-based paint was banned nationally for use in residential units—putting a significant number of young children at risk.

St. Louis Children and Toxic Lead Exposure – The Facts.

In 2014, 9.2% of St. Louis’ children who were tested for lead were found to have blood lead levels above 5 mcg/dL. When you add children who were found to have levels between 3 and 5 mcg/dL, that figure rises to a staggering 27.1%. Although most states consider 5 mcg/dL to be the threshold of concern, the CDC has found no safe blood lead level in young children. Furthermore, lead levels may fluctuate over time, depending on how long after ingestion the child was tested. Finally, although Missouri law says children under the age of 6 should be tested every year, fewer than half actually get tested. Thus, it is likely the number of children who have been exposed to lead is even greater than is reported.

The Effects of Lead Poisoning on Children

The effects of childhood lead poisoning are permanent and devastating on both an individual and demographic level. When a young child ingests lead from peeling, cracking, or chipping lead-based paint, or inhales lead-based paint dust from friction surfaces, that lead seeps into their blood stream, bones and organs, and stunts the development of the brain during a critical developmental period. The brains of children six and under are laying the foundation to learn skills necessary to be a successful adult. Depending on when lead is ingested, the brain fails to fully develop one or more important areas that are necessary to master a certain skill. Thus, where one child may exhibit problems with language, another may have difficulties with math. Still others may have trouble with executive functioning, which is needed for adequately planning ahead, impulse control, and staying organized.

Lead-Based Paint and Toxic Exposure in St. Louis, MO

Lead-based paint was used throughout homes up until 1978, and if a homeowner did not pay to remove the paint, it continues to exist today under layers and layers of new paint. As a result, lower income homeowners and renters are the ones most likely to live in a home with lead-based paint. This puts lower income children at greater risk of lead poisoning and at a disadvantage academically and professionally when compared to children who grew up in homes without a lead hazard.

Speak to Our Lead Poisoning Litigation Team.

If your child shows any evidence of exposure to lead-based paint, it is important to get that child tested frequently. Early intervention can also help a child learn to cope with the developmental delays associated with childhood lead poisoning. Finally, the experienced lead poisoning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP can help get your child the financial resources he or she needs to overcome the devastating effects of lead poisoning, and allow your child to live with financial independence and dignity as an adult. If you or your child has been exposed to lead at a young age, please call us or send us an inquiry from this website to see if you might have a case.

For more information about the law firm's practice areas please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at (800) 315-3806, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St. Louis Lead Poisoning FAQ

What Are The Effects of Lead Poisoning on Children in St. Louis?

Babies and children exposed to high levels of lead can face many future challenges. In young children the impact of exposure can lead to learning problems, behavioral problems, and intellectual deficits. High levels of lead can damage a child’s nervous system, brain, and organs. Older homes in the St. Louis area may not have been upgraded for many years, particularly in lower-income areas. The dust from old paint can be inhaled by children, with a terrible, lifelong impact.

How Do I Know if My Child’s Problems are Due to Lead Poisoning?

If your child is exhibiting the symptoms of lead poisoning, it is vital that you have the child tested. The test involves a finger prick, and the test results are typically available within a day or two. There is no “safe” level of lead, particularly in young children, whose brains and nervous systems are developing.

Why Does St. Louis Have Such High Numbers of Children with Lead Poisoning?

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, at least 3,300 children have been found to have toxic levels of lead in their blood. Most people have heard about the Flint water crisis, but in St. Louis, the exposure has been found to occur in old homes with toxic, lead-contaminated paint.

What Are the Statistics of Lead Poisoning of Children in St. Louis?

Staggering numbers of children in St. Louis have been found to be suffering the impact of exposure to high levels of toxic lead. The numbers tell the story:

  • 9.2 percent of children tested in a recent year had lead levels of more than 5 micrograms, the federal threshold.
  • 2,189 children were found with levels between 3 and 5, a quantity that can lead to developmental delays and lowered IQ.
  • 20 percent of the children living in the neighborhoods of Gravois Park, Fairground, and Kingsway East have been found to have high levels of lead.

Black children have been found to be twice as likely as white children to have elevated levels of lead in the blood.

What Are The Symptoms of Child Lead Poisoning in St. Louis?

The City of St. Louis Department of Health has issued a list of the symptoms of child lead poisoning. If you see any of these changes in your child, it is urgent that they are tested. If lead poisoning is discovered, it may be possible to file a claim for compensation. Your child may need special care, may no longer be able to achieve higher education, with earning capacity severely diminished. The compensation recovered can cover the costs of support, treatment, and care.

Mild levels of toxicity:

  • Mild fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Hyperactivity
  • Listlessness

Moderate levels of toxicity:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Behavioral issues
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting

Severe levels of toxicity:

  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Brain damage

How Can a Parent Seek Justice for a Child Poisoned by Lead Exposure?

The lead poisoning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg are committed to protecting the rights of children whose lives have been affected by lead poisoning in St. Louis. If your child is a victim of toxic lead exposure, we urge you to connect with us about your case. The compensation sought is to provide the financial resources your child will need to overcome or live with the devastating effects of lead poisoning. The compensation paid can allow your child to have financial independence as an adult. The first step in the process is a free case evaluation.

Who is Liable for Lead Poisoning Cases in St. Louis?

Missouri is the #1 producer of lead in the USA, and a vast number of older homes and buildings still contain lead-based paint. Many St. Louis schools have dozens of water fountains with traces of lead, with 88 district water fountains found to have elevated lead levels, as reported by NPR. The liable parties in a lawsuit may include a landlord, building owner, school, paint manufacturer, or other entity.

Can City Inspectors Find Homes and Buildings with Dangerous Lead Based Paint?

State law requires building inspectors to perform lead inspections, but the city’s building inspectors are not certified for these inspections, and merely look for peeling paint. The lead may be present as dust in the air, and this approach is not effective. According to the Riverfront Times, only 20 out of 5,000 buildings inspected were referred for lead abatement.

LEAD POISONING NEWS

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