Lead Paint Can be Very Harmful to Children
There are a lot of beautiful older model houses and apartments throughout New York City. It’s common for families who move into these charming homes to fall victim to lead poisoning. Children are at special risk of poisoning caused by paints containing lead. This is made possible by dust particles and chips from peeling paint being ingested via the mouth or respiratory system. When too much is consumed, it can cause the concentration of lead to reach toxic levels.
It’s important to note that lead can also be a danger to pregnant women and their unborn babies. The lead that is found in the home’s dust is a byproduct of paint that breaks down over a period of many years – this is especially so with the paint surrounding windows. Home improvement projects can cause a release of the lead unknowingly. When inexperienced contractors are hired to remove the paint, they could accidentally release lead particles into the air because they aren’t following the required procedures.
New York City Laws Governing Lead Paint
There are a variety of state, local and federal laws that make it mandatory for property owners, landlords and contractors to remove harmful lead-based paint in homes and buildings, so to reduce the risk to children inhabitants. Under New York City’s Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Law, the property owner is required to inspect, investigate and eliminate lead paint that is found, using procedures that are approved and conducted by trained professionals. Notice is also required to be given to the occupants.
What an EPA Study Found
The federal Environmental Protection Agency, also known as EPA, conducted a study. A broad national report was released in January 2013 that covered the health issues that kids develop due to the U.S. environment. The report was called America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition, or ACE3. Lead was one of the toxins that were included in the study. The results showed that since the late 70s, the median level of lead found in the blood of kids between 1 and 5 years old had dropped by 92 percent as of 2009.
The highest lead concentrations were found in kids of African-American, non-Hispanic decent, who were living in poverty. The Northeast and Midwest had twice the number of homes with lead paint than other areas of the United States.
Even with the improvements found, ACE3 noted that between 2005 and 2006, 15 percent of children between 0 and 6 years old were living in homes that had lead dust and paint. According to the EPA, houses that were built before 1978 could have lead paint. In 2000, nearly 40 million homes in the U.S. still had lead paint in it. If you are currently living in a home with lead paint and have children who play on the floor, this danger could affect your family.
Health Effects of Lead on Children
There are no safe levels of lead that can be in a child’s body. There are treatments available for lead poisoning, but the advanced symptoms may not be reversible. Some of the risks associated with childhood lead exposure include:
- Brain damage
- Attention problems
- Academic and learning issues
- Memory impairment and lower IQ
- Kidney damage
- Problematic behavior
- Vomiting, stunted growth and weight loss
- Reproductive problems as adults
- And more
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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
It’s important for parents of children who have been exposed to lead-based paint in NY to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney who is experienced with cases involving lead-paint poisoning. With a lawyer, you can learn about your available options, which includes launching an investigation on behalf of your child. An experienced attorney can gather evidence and consult with scientific and medical professionals. The end result will help determine who is at fault for the injury of your child, such as the landlord, property owner, construction contractor, seller, paint-removal contractor and their insurers. Contact us today if you have any questions or need help.