The knowledge of the harmful effects of lead in any product has spread swiftly, even to the point of being embedded in the laws governing states. According to a publication by the World Health Organization titled Legally-Binding Controls On Lead Paint, it was revealed that “as of 31 December 2021, 43% of countries have confirmed that they have legally binding controls on the production, import, sale, and use of lead paints.”
In an article by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lead is defined as “a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust.”
It is essentially a malleable, silvery-gray metal with a dull outlook.
The World Health Organization, United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and other relevant health bodies discouraged the use of lead.
Lead exposure, whether through inhalation, touch, or ingestion, can adversely affect people and worse on children.
This is why the use of lead in products like paints is vehemently spoken against by both the government and non-governmental organizations and international bodies. Even with all these efforts made, cases involving lead poisoning still arise year after year with fierce legal battles.
Adverse Effect of Lead Exposure to Human Beings
Lead exposure across all age groups and conditions leaves an alarming health effect in its wake.
This is why it is certified dangerous and should be avoided.
According to the World Health Organization, in a publication titled Lead Poisoning, it was expounded that “young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health impacts, particularly on the development of the brain and nervous system. Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage.”
Legal animation can be used to illustrate the effect of lead paint on the body.
Here are examples of the chronic effect of lead on people:
- Reproductive system
Exposure to lead of any form, including lead paint, over some time can affect the reproductive system of both males and females.
Lead exposure can lead to miscarriages, low birth weight, infertility, stillbirth, prematurity, and improper child development in a woman.
This is because lead can be transferred to the baby through the blood and during breastfeeding.
There can be low sperm count and problems with sperm motility and morphology in males.
- Nervous system
Exposure of the brain to lead is fatal, as it is the most sensitive organ in the body to lead.
This is why lead is more dangerous in children than in adults.
Lead poisoning can cause different parts of the brain to become damaged and, in turn, cause poor cognitive abilities in people.
The brain parts that can be affected include the cerebral cortex, neuron myelin sheath, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus.
- Renal system
Exposure to lead in whatever form, including lead paint, can cause acute renal disease.
With an increase in the amount of lead present in the body and digested, there is an acceleration in the deterioration of chronic renal insufficiency.
Lead Paint Court Case: Brooks v. Lewin Realty
In this case, a house was rented out to Shirley in 1988 with fresh painting at the start of the tenancy.
Sharon, Parker’s daughter, moved in soon after her mother moved into the house. In 1989, Sharon gave birth to Sean.
Sometime in 1991, the defendants purchased the house at auction and became the official owner of the house.
Mr. Sober, a representative of the realty, did an inspection and saw that there was peeling, chipping, and flaking of paints in different parts of the apartment, including Sean’s bedroom.
As of 1992, Sean was diagnosed with an elevated lead level. A violation notice was issued by the Baltimore City Head Department regarding the lead paint used in the house.
Upon considering the Housing Code in Baltimore, the court held that “the plaintiff Sean is in the class of people intended to be protected by the Housing Code, and his injury, lead poisoning, is the kind of injury intended to be prevented by the Code.”
In addition to the attorney’s legal argument in a case of lead paint poisoning, as seen above, legal animation can also be used to provide an anatomical visualization of the harmful effect of lead on the victim.