More Interesting Than Watching The Paint Dry: Emerging Trends In Lead Paint Litigation

Articles & Publications

January 1, 2007

I. Lead Paint: A Primer
According to the US Department of Health and Human Service's Agency for Toxicity and Disease Study: "[t]oday everyone is exposed to environmental lead. Exposure to lead and lead chemicals occurs from breathing air, drinking water, eating foods, and swallowing or touching dust or dirt that contains lead."1 Potentially hazardous amounts of lead have recently been found in the following types of consumer products by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission: organic chocolate candies, imported candy wrappers, vinyl lunchboxes, water pipes, food packaging, paint on children's toys including baby rattles, toy jewelry, enameled or ceramic pots and dishware, crystal decanters, hair dyes, ammunition, stained glass, automobile batteries, make-up, pool cue chalk, colored newsprint, candle wicks, and imported kettles. Lead has also been detected in the soil surrounding residential properties in metropolitan areas, including Chicago, Illinois.2 Lead is so environmentally pervasive, it is often impossible to determine the predominant source of an individual's exposure, especially when the individual exhibits a lower (but still elevated) blood lead level.3 With the phasing out of lead in gasoline (which began in the 1970s), lead in paints and in soils and dusts has become the principal source of exposure in the United States.4

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