Common Lead Paint Myth: Only Children are at Risk from Lead Poisoning

May 25, 2023 8:38 am

Children are most likely to get lead poisoning from lead paint through hand-to-mouth activity, as they’re playing inside or outside of the house. Teenagers are at risk if they live with an adult who’s exposed to lead at work, tracking it into the house through their clothing or shoes. Both groups are highly sensitive and need extra guidance to avoid lead exposure.

Effects of Lead Poisoning Among Children & Teens

  • Delayed development
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Sensory issues
  • Kidney damage

How Lead Poisoning Affects Adults

Although adults tend to be aware of their surroundings – and, therefore, in control of their health – some key factors place them at risk of lead poisoning.

When Are Adults at Risk of Lead Poisoning?

  • Working at work sites with lead dust/fumes circulating in the air (i.e. home renovations and battery manufacturing)
  • Adopting international children who have been highly exposed to lead
  • Living in pre-1978 homes with lead-based paint, since this is when the federal ban on lead-based paint began
  • Decorating their homes with antique furniture or accessories covered in lead-based paint

Effects of Lead Poisoning Among Adults

  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney damage
  • Coma

How Lead Paint Poisoning Affects Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women

Just like any other adult, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can potentially get lead poisoning. The key difference is that a woman within one of these two groups can pass lead to her baby through the umbilical cord or breastmilk. In this case, two lives are at risk, instead of one.

Effects of Lead Poisoning Among Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Improper development
  • Behavioral challenges

If you think you’ve been exposed to high levels of lead, ask your healthcare provider about getting a blood test, so you can take the proper steps to protect your long-term health.

At LEW Environmental, we help people of all ages prevent lead poisoning through lead paint remediation and testing. If you’re in New York City, Long Island, or New Jersey, contact us today to get started.

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