Children Could Face Secondhand Lead Poisoning as a Result of Parents’ Occupational Exposure
December 20, 2019
Previous Post Next Post

A study from the Boston University School of Public Health revealed the dangers of secondhand lead exposure in the children of people who work in high-risk roles. The research centered on how to reduce secondhand poisoning, with a focus specifically on the construction industry.

About Occupational Lead Poisoning and Secondhand Exposure

Lead is an element that is present in building materials, like lead paint. Lead poisoning, especially prolonged exposure over an extended period of time, can cause issues such as kidney problems and brain damage. Childhood lead exposure can contribute to cognitive and developmental deficiencies. Exposure to lead can be fatal.

In a work setting, employees may be exposed to lead in a form that can be transferred to others. For example, lead powder which circulates throughout a work environment can cling to a worker’s clothes and then enter their home. Children can breathe in the powder and suffer from the effects of lead exposure.

People who are employed in the following roles are at risk for occupational lead exposure:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Cleaning
  • Recycling


Boston University’s Research

The Boston University study is funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The initial research uncovered the risks of secondhand lead exposure in children, and as the study continues, researchers will focus on how to reduce that risk.

The study will involve 60 Boston-area families, “especially focused on homes where a person performs building renovations, bridge constructions, welding, metal work, demolition, or construction work at high risk for metal exposure, and who are living with at least one child.”

Participating families will perform exposure intervention measures at work and in their residences, “including having home inspections and cleanings, completing an in-home education workshop, or training workers on the best ways to reduce their exposure to lead on the jobsite.” Throughout the course of the study, the parents and their children will be tested for lead exposure to determine the most effective intervention tactics.

The attorneys of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP represent people who have been exposed to toxic substances such as lead. People harmed by toxic exposure can file a claim to recover compensation for their damages — contact us to learn about your rights.

If you are interested in scheduling a free consultation with our legal team, call (866) 709-0505 or send us a message.