Anybody familiar with lead-safety regulations knows full well the health risks associated with lead exposure. Conducting any Renovation, Repair, and Painting work without following the appropriate lead-safe work practices and dust-minimizing techniques can lead to permanent physical and mental damage. But what if you are unaware of the presence of lead on your project site?
That is exactly what happened to painter Richard Vichas. After experiencing severe lead poisoning due to working on a home that he was told was lead-free, a Hartford jury has awarded Vichas $1.851 million.
“Vichas became progressively ill after painting the exterior of a house belonging to Berlin resident Timothy Heckman. Vichas worked on the house at least three days a week for seven months in 2013. He ‘was subsequently diagnosed with severe lead-paint poisoning as a result of the exposure to airborne lead,’ according to his suit.” – Connecticut Law Tribune
According to Vichas’ co-counsel, Megan Boorsma, the painter’s blood lead level far exceeded the upper bounds of normal lead levels of 5 micrograms per deciliter. Having since lowered to 9 μg/dL, Vichas’ initial blood lead level reached 156 9 μg/dL and has caused irreversible damage.
“He has lost 11 IQ points because of this. His brain is atrophying. He is also more likely to get neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.” – Megan Boorsma
If conducting RRP work, it is important to get your Lead Certification, use your personal protective equipment, and follow all lead-safe work practices to prevent excessive lead exposure.
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