Although increased awareness about the dangers of lead has been on the rise for decades, many California residents continue to be at risk of poisoning from this toxic metal. Lead is a potent neurotoxin, and exposure to high concentrations can result in catastrophic health complications and even death.
Inspecting water pipes and other plumbing elements that may contain lead is critical for anyone living in an older home. Failure to replace a home’s aging infrastructure can result in severe consequences.
If you’ve suffered complications due to lead exposure, you may be able to file a lawsuit and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
California’s Lead Ban
Since 2010, California has enacted strict laws to address lead pipes’ dangers.
Decades ago, this common metal was affordable to use in underground and above-ground pipes, especially those used to feed water to homes. Over the years, it became apparent that lead was toxic, and contaminated water was found to cause severe health effects.
Nowadays, California and federal mandates ensure that lead can no longer be used in installing and repairing plumbing systems. This includes:
- Piping and joints
Additionally, California retailers can no longer sell any lead-containing plumbing products.
Although most states have enacted strict legislation to outlaw the use of lead, overhauling old structures is more complicated than it seems. If you’ve recently moved into an older home, you’ll want to ensure your water pipes are lead-free.
If you rent from a landlord, it’s the owner’s legal responsibility to ensure that the water pipes on their property are lead-free. Should you suspect a case of lead poisoning, you may be able to file a legal claim to hold any negligent parties accountable.
Health Concerns for Lead Exposure
Corrosion from lead pipes is the primary way that drinking water supplies can become contaminated with lead.
Since 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act has been used to set standards and enforce federal safety regulations across the country to reduce the likelihood of lead poisoning. Sadly, thousands of Californians, especially young children, continue to be affected by lead exposure.
Some of the most common symptoms and signs of lead exposure from water include:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mood disorders
- Memory and concentration problems
- Pregnancy complications
- Vomiting and nausea
- High blood pressure
- Developmental delays in children
- Blood cell disorders
- Kidney failure
In 2017 alone, over 10,000 children tested positive for lead poisoning across California – a staggering number. Of those children, roughly 3,300 lived in San Diego County.
Although lead exposure can occur from other sources, like soil and paints, the main factor in most cases was water contamination from lead pipes.
Reducing Lead Content in Your Water Supply
If you have concerns about the lead levels in your home’s water supply, you’ll want to conduct a comprehensive inspection of your plumbing installations, including all pipes and fittings.
You can also have your tap water tested and analyzed at labs accredited by the State Water Resources Control Board. Experts can check your home’s water supply for lead and other contaminants.
If you determine that your home’s water supply is tainted with lead, you’ll need to replace the plumbing as soon as possible. If you pay rent, your landlord should be responsible for ensuring that adequate measures are taken to remove dangerous pipes from your home.
Thompson Injury Law is dedicated to representing environmental law claims throughout San Diego, CA. If you suffered lead poisoning, our experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine the best course of action. Contact our office today for a free consultation.