Lead Paint and The Risks

By: Cole Gino, Nick Blencoe, Laya Rocha


Exposure to lead can be very harmful to the human body. It can cause sickness, like anemia, but it can also cause many other disabilities when people ingest lead at a young age as in impaired brain and nervous system functions. Other forms of disabilities that can come from the ingestion of lead are learning disabilities. Even when the symptoms of disabilities are not big, children can obtain learning disabilities and shorter attention spans. Lead ingestion can lead to underperformance in schools, learning and behavioral problems, growing and developmental problems, and even problems with hearing and speech (Lead and Paint Hazards, p.1).


Lead paint originated before 1920 but boomed in 1922. People used this kind of paint because it was durable but also washable (The History of Lead Use Paint, p.1). People did not know anything about what problems lead paint can cause. It wasn’t until the mid 1950s when people started to do research on the paint and started to find terrible chemicals that can cause some serious health problems. 1951, Maryland was the first state to ban lead paint for interior housing. By 1950 through 1960, the lead-based paint was significantly declining as more and more kids were having health problems. Around late 1978, lead based paint for interior and exterior housing had been banned throughout the United States of America.

Who Is the Most Affected

Those that are at highest risk of lead exposure from paint are toddlers, children, and pregnant women (Lead Paint and Hazards, p.1).All of these people are generally exposed to lead by ingestion. This is why toddlers and children are at the highest risk of exposure, toddlers and children have very frequent hand to mouth activity. Pregnant women are also at such a high risk because it could be very harmful for the child if the mother were to have ingested lead. Yet, many other people are still at risk of lead exposure. Other people that are at risk of being exposed are those that work in construction or in the paint industry (Lead and Paint Hazards, p.1). Other people that are generally the most exposed to lead from paint are pregnant women or construction workers. Pregnant women, and any others that live in the house, are exposed through ingestion when the lead paint chips and turns into dust they can inhale the lead. Also, those that work in construction or in the paint industry are highly exposed when working with paint in old houses. This exposure comes from the dust from the lead paint chipping and getting the dust on their hands and ingesting it after and eating dinner or lunch.


  • “The History of the Use of Lead-Based Paint.” Lead Lawsuits, 2019, leadlawsuits.com/history/the-history-of-the-use-of-lead-based-paint/.
  • “Lead Poisoning.” World Health Organization, 2021, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/lead-poisoning-and-health#:~:text=At%20high%20levels%20of%20exposure,intellectual%20disability%20and%20behavioural%20disorders.
  • “Health Effects of Lead Exposure.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Sept. 2022, www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/health-effects.htm.
  • “Lead Paint and Hazards.” Lead Paint and Hazards | HealthLink BC, www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/lead-paint-and-hazards#:~:text=Exposure%20to%20lead-based%20paint%20usually. Accessed 15 May 2023.
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