March 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- New York City has its share of charming, older homes and apartments. But for little children, those houses can present a real safety hazard -- lead poisoning
by ingesting dust and chips from peeling lead-based paint. Young kids tend to play on the floor and to put their dusty hands and things like paint chips into their mouths. Plus, their smaller bodies allow for a higher concentration of toxic substances when ingested.
Lead is also dangerous to unborn children and pregnant women.
Lead in house dust is a byproduct of the paint breaking down over the years, especially around windows, and can be exacerbated by home-improvement projects when people unknowingly release it in renovation, or by contractors who are not certified to remove lead paint safely, or who are but do not adhere to the required procedures.
Laws controlling lead paint in New York City
A myriad of federal, state and local laws require landlords, property owners and contractors to take certain actions to reduce the risk of harm to children from lead-based paint in homes and other buildings. For example, New York City has a Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Law that requires certain property owners to inspect, investigate and remove lead paint using approved procedures and trained personnel, as well as provide certain notice to occupants.
EPA study findings
In January 2013, the federal Environmental Protection Agency released a broad national report
on kids' health problems related to the U.S. environment entitled America's Children and the Environment, Third Edition, also called ACE3. One of the toxins looked at by the agency is lead and the main finding is encouraging -- that since the late 70s, the median lead concentration in children's blood (between 1 and 5 years old) has dropped an amazing 92 percent as of 2009 - 2010.
The highest levels were found in African-American non-Hispanic children and in kids in poverty. Twice the number of homes in the Northeast and Midwest contain lead paint than those in other parts of the U.S.
Despite this improvement, ACE3 indicates that in 2005-2006, 15 percent of kids from 0 to 6 lived in residences with lead dust or lead paint hazards. The EPA report says that houses older than those built in 1978 may have leaded paint and that in 2000, almost 40 million U.S. housing units still contained it. And if one of those houses or apartments is yours, and it's your child playing on the floor, the danger is real for you.
Health effects on kids
No level of lead in a child's body is considered to be safe. Some treatments are available, but advanced symptoms may not be reversible. The dangers of childhood lead exposure
are well known and include increased risk of:
- Brain damage
- Lower IQ and memory impairment
- Academic and learning difficulty
- Attention problems
- Problematic behavior
- Weight loss, stunted growth and vomiting
- Irritability and fatigue
- Kidney damage
- Reproductive problems as adults
- And more, including death
The role of the personal injury attorney
Any parent with a child who has been harmed by exposure to lead-based paint in New York should speak with a personal injury lawyer experienced in the handling of lead-paint poisoning cases. The attorney can advise the parent about his or her options for legal action and can launch an investigation on the child's behalf. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to gather important evidence, consult health and scientific experts, and identify potentially responsible parties like landlords, property owners and sellers, paint-removal contractors, construction contractors and their insurance companies.
Article provided by Dansker & Aspromonte Associates
Visit us at www.dandalaw.com---
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