Southern Nevada is seeing an increase in the number of lead poisoning cases among children, and researchers have not yet found the actual underlying cause. Increased screenings and a large number of older homes that still have lead paint are two potential reasons, but officials are still looking to determine why this sudden increase is happening.
Increased Screening Leading to More Diagnoses
The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy reported that the state currently only tests about 3 percent of the children under the age of 6 throughout the state. Pushes for more testing are part of the reason that more children are being diagnosed. In 2015, the state had 43 reported cases, which increased to 175 in 2017 as the state tested an increased number of children. The Centers for Disease Control are recommending screening at children at 12 and 24 months and then one more time before they reach the age of 6 in order to prevent complications from lead poisoning.
Lead Paint in Southern Nevada a Serious Concern
Southern Nevada seems to have the highest risk, with a large number of homes built before 1978 that have lead paint. The City of Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are partnering together to provide help for families with young children in these homes who need to have their lead paint removed.
Lead Poisoning a Serious Health Concern
Lead poisoning is a serious concern for families with young children. No safe levels of lead exposure exist, and all it takes is a few grains of a contaminated substance ingested for a child to have health concerns. In young children, learning disabilities and developmental delays are connected to lead poisoning. Some suffer from reduced height and hearing loss. High levels of lead poisoning can lead to central nervous system and kidney damage. Some children experience anemia, coma, convulsions or death. In Nevada, the most common source of lead poisoning is exposure to household dust.
Families who discover they have lead in their homes and that experience lead poisoning problems with their children may have options. The first priority is to remove the lead to limit additional exposure. A personal injury attorney in Las Vegas can determine if the family has the right to seek legal compensation.