(c) 2018 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Occupational Exposure to Lead Continues to be a Serious Health Issue

The California Department of Health has reported that the workers' occupational exposure to lead continues to be a serious public health issue.

"According to a report released in January by the California Department of Public Health, more than 6,000 California workers have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Health problems from lead exposure include heart disease, reproductive problems, cognitive difficulties and kidney failure. 
"From 2012 to 2014, 38,440 workers had their blood tested for lead, and 6,051 workers were identified with an elevated level of 5 or more micrograms of lead per deciliter (about 3.3 ounces) of blood. Workers with the highest blood lead levels — 40 micrograms or more per deciliter — mostly worked at shooting ranges or in ammunition manufacturing, gun repair, and firearm instruction, although some worked in other metal industries, painting and construction.
One of the most common health problems for American children today is lead poisoning. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Our office has joined with other law firms to dedicate our efforts to the victims of childhood lead poisoning. In this effort we work with leading national researchers, including geochemists, psychiatrists, toxicologist, pediatric neurologists and neuropsychiatrists to assist our clients who suffer from lead poisoning.

Lead is absorbed into the bodies of small children more easily than adults. Human beings are exposed to lead through the ingestion of lead chips, dust, soil and various other means. When lead is ingested by children six years old or younger, the effects are most serious and they effect detrimentally the brains of children that are in developmental stages. Studies have shown that lead, even at low levels, is a neurotoxin and can cause permanent brain damage.

Lead exposure can pose serious dangers to pregnant women and industrial workers. Exposure to battery plants and lead smelters that use lead in their processing may also expose workers and children to dangerous levels of lead. Painters and workers with occupations involving welding, soldering, the chemical industry, foundries, gasoline refineries and the copper industry may bring dust home from the workplace resulting in secondhand exposure and poisoning to children.

Lead exposure occurs in both industrial and occupational exposures also. There is exposure to lead in battery plants and lead smelters they utilize lead in their processing. Adult workers may be exposed and children may be exposed to dangerous levels through the household contact of their parents. Painters and workers involved in occupational industries such as welding, soldering, the chemical industry, boundaries, gasoline refineries and that copper industry may transport landed home and expose their household contacts.

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). 

For over 4 decades theLaw Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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