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Lead Poisoning Linked to ADHD, Other Disorders

Feb 1, 2008
Lead paint and lead poisoning have long been known to cause a host of health problems, including hearing loss, stunted body growth and even reduced I.Q. But new research points to another danger of lead paint and lead poisoning - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Boys at Greater Risk

The study proved that boys are at a greater risk than girls, pointing to a specific variation in a genetic dopamine receptor (DRD4-7). Children with this genetic variation who have exposure to lead are at a greater risk of developing ADHD. The connection between lead poisoning and attention problems has long been known, and it was this connection that spurred doctors to research a potential link between ADHD and lead poisoning.

Doctors split the children studied into two groups - a high- and low-risk category of DRD4 variation. Though exposure to lead paint and other lead did not seem to increase the risk for children with the high-risk variety, the low-risk group was significantly affected by the presence of lead.

A Series of Disorders

ADHD children are not the only victims of lead poisoning - lead exposure can lead to disorders in almost every part of the body. The nervous system is a common casualty of lead exposure, with reduced strength and inability for different body parts to effectively communicate with one another. The potential for miscarriage is increased by lead exposure, and sperm production can be endangered in men who are exposed to lead paint or particles. Though there is no conclusive proof that lead is carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that lead is a potential human carcinogen.

Protecting Children from Lead Poisoning

Children are by far the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Children ingest lead in a number of ways - through chewing on paint chips in old houses, eating soil or dust that has been contaminated with lead, or biting ceramics or other objects that have been coated in lead-based paint. Young children are at significant risk through their ingestion habits, but fetuses and babies are at risk, too: premature birth and even miscarriage are well-known side effects of lead exposure.

In order to reduce the risk of lead poisoning for children, parents should be vigilant about what goes in their children's mouth. They should keep close watch on children who chew or lick painted surfaces and keep cosmetics and other lead-based pigments away from children. Frequent hand and face washing can keep lead dust from getting in the mouths and mucus membranes of children. In addition, your child should be tested for lead at one or two years of age.

Legal Options for Lead Poisoning

If you or your child have been injured by lead poisoning, contact a medical professional immediately. You may be liable for damages due to your lead-based medical problems. It is best to consult an experienced lead poisoning attorney who can provide you with legal consultation and support as you litigate your lead poisoning claim. You may be eligible for compensation or damages to help pay for medical bills and pain and suffering.
About the Author
LegalView can be located at www.LegalView.com. LegalView has an array of practice areas continually updated to contain the latest news, jury verdicts and information. Two new practice areas relate to Vytorin, http://vytorin.legalview.com, and Zetia, http://zetia.legalview.com, which are cholesterol-reducing drugs discovered to be less effective than generic brands.
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