Lead-Paint Poisoning of Children
Lead-Paint Litigation Strategies
Leaded Bath Tub Glaze
Leaded Plates and Dishes
Lead-Painted Doll Furniture
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Lead in Vinyl Miniblinds
Lead is a toxic substance
with serious adverse effects on human beings. It is particularly hazardous
to young children under the age of six because their bodies are rapidly
developing. They absorb and retain lead more efficiently and they show
adverse health affects at lower lead blood concentration levels. Lead
poisoning has been identified as one of the most serious toxicological
hazards facing young children in the United States. Medical researchers
have found detrimental impact upon learning and the central nervous system
in children with lead in blood as low as 10 mg/dL.
For the last 20 years,
blinds manufactured in the United States have not used lead as a stabilizer
because of the well recognized health hazards associated with lead. Indeed,
the manufacture of blinds containing lead is prohibited in the United
States. However, virtually all vinyl miniblinds imported to and sold in
the United States contain some lead. Approximately 25 million blinds are
imported each year from the countries of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico
and Indonesia. They mostly contain some lead. Lead in miniblinds is not
used as Lead-Paint. Rather, it is used as a vinyl stabilizing additive
for rigidity and color retention. As such, lead is one of the last items
added in the manufacturing process. Thus, the lead is very near the surface
of the blinds.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that imported
non-glossy vinyl miniblinds would eventually deteriorate, forming lead
dust that poses a health hazard to children aged six and younger. Further,
window mechanisms are fascinating for young children, and sills are often
at toddler height. These surfaces are particularly dangerous for young
children because they receive so much daily use. According to the CPSC,
over time the vinyl in some miniblinds deteriorates from exposure to sunlight,
heat, and/or cold, causing lead dust to form on their slatted surfaces.
Children also can ingest the dust by mouthing the blinds or by licking
their fingers that have picked up dust from the blinds. According to the
CSPC, younger children are at risk because they can ingest lead by wiping
their hands on the blinds and then putting their hands into their mouth.
SHOULD YOU DO?
- Based on these hazards, the CPSC has recommended that parents with young children should remove the vinyl miniblinds from their homes.
- Contact your local health department for testing, information, and assistance in your investigation. Learn about the hazards of lead poisoning and the methods of prevention.
- Test your home for the presence of lead.
- Up until the age of 7, make sure that your children's blood is screened annually for the presence of lead. If lead levels are elevated, more frequent screening may be recommended. Please consult your physician.
This informational piece was prepared by Monheit, Silverman & Fodera. If you would like more information on this topic, call us at (800) 220-LAW1, or use the "Do I Have A Case?" button on this web site.
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