Those in the Tampa Bay area learned shocking news this spring that local lead smelter Gopher Resource failed to protect their employees from lead poisoning in a report by the Tampa Bay Times. The investigation spanned over 18 months and interviewed more than 80 current and former employees learning about their experience at the Gopher Resource plant. The location of the plant is just six miles east of downtown Tampa and among a neighborhood of small residential homes, auto-repair shops and places of worship. Members of the Tampa community learned of the shocking news and demand better conditions for their fellow members of the larger community.
Lead poisoning can lead to dangerous symptoms and long-term health complications for those exposed, especially when their exposure continually occurs, such as at a place of employment where proper safety protections are lacking. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) determines that lead exposure proves most dangerous when the lead particles are inhaled.
The real danger in prolonged exposure to lead results in many symptoms including: abdominal pain, constipation, depression, distraction, forgetfulness, irritability, nausea/sickness. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that lead can also cause cancer in humans. While lead poisoning often has similar symptoms to other conditions, if you think you have lead poisoning, you should consult a medical professional.
The exposure of children can result in more significant symptoms and long-term health impacts. In the report published by the Tampa Bay Times, current and former Gopher Resource employees cited their concerns about potentially bringing home lead particles on their clothes or shoes and exposing their families including their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that there is no safe blood lead level in children. While many initial symptoms of lead poisoning in children can present as other nondescript symptoms, lead poisoning can affect the brain development of children. As their brains have not fully developed, the presence of lead in their blood, can lead to clumsiness, agitation or decreased activity and drowsiness. Any children who experience symptoms as a result of lead toxicity should treat the symptoms as an emergency.
Most people think consulting or working with a lead poisoning lawyer can only add headaches and confusion to an already difficult situation. However, at Vanguard Attorneys our team of expert lead exposure attorneys have the requisite skills to navigate this complicated time for you and your family. Large corporations like Gopher Resource attempt to protect only their financial bottom line, and our lawyers will not let them bully you. When you have a lead poisoning attorney working on your behalf, they can help you as you get medical guidance and determine the value of your case against an at-fault employer, like Gopher Resource.
Our experience as a Tampa-based personal injury firm allows our team of attorneys to know this area and how to fight cases for our clients. One of our attorneys, Sean Shaw, was recently the Representative in the Florida House of Representatives for district 61 which includes the area around the Gopher Resource plant. Vanguard Attorneys takes pride in our efforts to fight for clients in underserved communities, including those who could have been affected by the lead exposure at the Gopher Resource plant in Tampa.
Health problems caused by lead. (2018, June 18). Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html
Johnson, C. G., Woolington, R., & Murray, E. (2021, March 24). Florida’s only lead smelter exposed hundreds of workers to high lead levels. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2021/investigations/lead-factory/gopher-workers/
Lead exposure in children. (2016). Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/lead-exposure/Pages/Lead-Exposure-in-Children.aspx
Lead poisoning. (2019, December 20). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717
Toxicological Profile for Lead. (2020, August). Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.pdf