Occupational Exposure in the Construction Industry: the Greatest Lead Poisoning Risk for American Adults
Exposure to lead is a concern in homes and workplaces throughout New York City. The lead was once used extensively in paints, varnishes, pipes, faucets, and tank liners, among other consumer products. Although lead paint was banned in-home use in 1978 and lead is no longer used in many other constructions and consumer products, it can still be found in many older buildings.
When an individual is exposed to lead for a prolonged period of time, he or she is at risk of developing lead poisoning. Although the risks lead exposure poses to children are well-publicized, it is important to know that adults can suffer from lead poisoning as well.
Signs That You Are at Risk of Lead Exposure in Your Workplace
If you work in a building that dates to the 1970s or earlier, there is a stronger chance that you are exposed to lead in your workplace than if you worked in a newer building. But a building’s age does not necessarily mean it contains lead paint or lead in other materials. Older buildings may be renovated or have their original interior paints covered with newer layers, locking in the lead and preventing exposure.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning can have the following symptoms in adults:
- Memory loss
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Numbness in the extremities
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Mental decline
- Reduced sperm count
Pregnant women who are exposed to lead can experience miscarriage and birth defects in their babies, such as developmental delays and low birth weight.
How to Protect Yourself From Lead Poisoning in the Workplace
Ask about the age of the paint in your workplace. If the paint is fairly old, chipping, or peeling, ask that the wall be repainted. When lead paint is chipped into dust or small particles, it is especially dangerous because it can be inhaled. Cover your mouth and nose when you are near chipped paint.
Wash your hands thoroughly after touching painted surfaces and before eating. Instead of drinking water from the faucet at work, bring bottled water. Older pipes and plumbing fixtures often contain lead. If you do use water from the faucet, use cold water. Warm water is more likely to pick up lead particles from the piping.
When you return home after work, shower and launder your work clothing separately from your other clothing. This will reduce your risk of transmitting lead particles to them and exposing your loved ones, particularly young children, to lead.
Work With an Experienced Brooklyn Lead Poisoning Attorney
If you are suffering from the effects of lead exposure in your workplace, you could be entitled to seek compensation for your damages through a lead exposure claim. Through this type of claim, you can recover compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages, and any other expenses related to your illness. Contact our team of experienced lead poisoning attorneys at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our Brooklyn office.