Lead poisoning can lead to serious injuries, especially in children who may be exposed to lead and copper in the water systems while at school, since school buildings in many communities tend to be older and less likely to have been changed. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that drinking water in schools contain no more than 0.20 parts per billion (ppb) for lead and 1.3 parts per million for copper – numbers that are much smaller than required in residential areas. However, even though many states have attempted to instill lead poisoning prevention programs, this has not fully eradicated lead poisoning from the population.
Lead Poisoning Laws
Many states have passed laws that make lead and copper water testing for schools more stringent and frequent unless the school buildings can show that the school was built without lead piping.
Schools have a duty to provide their students with clean and potable water, and a safe environment; lead poisoning can have drastic and irreversible health effects, especially on children. Tap water within the schools must be tested annually for the presence of lead and copper.
Effects and Signs of Lead Poisoning in Children
Lead poisoning can be extremely dangerous, especially to kids who are developing and growing. Lead, like other minerals in our body, is distributed throughout the entire body once it has been consumed. It causes problems wherever it is present. The effects on children may include the following:
• Damage to the central nervous system
• Slow mental and physical development in the child
• Issues with speech and language
Symptoms that kids may develop, which may be a sign that they have lead poisoning, include:
• Behavioral problems or hyperactivity
• Seizures and loss of consciousness
• Symptoms associated with anemia
• Muscle and joint pain
• Metallic taste in his or her mouth
Let Our Premises Liability Attorneys Help
Schools have a duty to keep their students safe from lead and copper in their water system and are required to ensure that children have access to clean and potable water. Hopefully, more stringent legislation will have the effect of eradicating lead poisoning entirely. Until then, it is important to monitor your children, especially if you have recently moved to an area where this has been an issue. Pay close attention to see if they are suffering through any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
If your child or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of or has been determined to have lead poisoning, please contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury lawyer. They will be able to answer any legal questions you may have and determine if you have a claim.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into personal injury claims and lead poisoning.