Lead Poisoning: Your Health, Your Insurance Coverage

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It wasn’t that long ago that Flint, Michigan, had a water crisis and residents were concerned about lead levels. Home and property owners and managers, as well as mortgage lenders, have known lead risks for years.

Recent research on metal exposure in many parts of the country has raised major questions.

What is lead poisoning?

This form of toxic poisoning occurs when dangerous levels of lead enter the body. By the way, small amounts of lead are also bad for you and can cause serious health problems, especially in children under 6 years old.

Where does lead come from?

Lead problems often stem from lead paint and lead-contaminated dust. Older homes and buildings have problems with this. Lead is also present in polluted air, water and soil. Those who work on batteries, apartment or office building renovations could also be at risk, as can auto repairers.

How does this form of intoxication occur?

All you may need to do to reduce low-level lead poisoning is avoid places that contain lead. People with severe lead poisoning may need a treatment called chelation. Your family doctor is the best source of guidance on this. Of course, avoiding the source of lead in the first place is the best antidote.


How to prevent lead poisoning?

Here are some everyday tips to help residents prevent lead poisoning.

• After turning on the cold water, let it run for a minute or so before using it.
• Wash hands before eating, at bedtime and after playing outside
• Disinfect toys regularly.
• Mop all floors regularly. Wipe down furniture and surfaces with a damp cloth to maintain a dust-free environment
• Train family members to remove shoes before entering the house
• Plant grass on clods.
• Grass on bare outdoor soil and cover sandbox after play
• Eat three wholesome meals a day.
• Avoid toys, medications, cosmetics and hair dyes that may contain lead.

What about property insurance? Does it cover lead poisoning?

This type of metal poisoning is a controversial topic for most insurance companies — especially when it comes to older homes, buildings and property. Typically, home and property owners must hire special inspectors to confirm that lead is not a known problem before vendors will sell related insurance.

More information on lead poisoning as it relates to property insurance is available from independent insurance agencies with experience in all areas of real estate.

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