Lead exposure is extremely dangerous and cause devastating and even fatal health effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006, there were approximately 5,784 children under the age of six who had confirmed elevated blood lead levels in New York State, including New York City. Nationwide, there are as many as 250,000 children, who are one to five years of age, who have elevated blood lead levels.
Children are particularly at risk of lead poisoning, because they develop very quickly. Studies have shown that children with blood lead levels of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood can have their physical and mental development negatively affected.
Sources of Lead Exposure
The most common source of lead poisoning comes from inhaling or ingesting dust or chips of paint containing lead. Although lead-based paint was outlawed in 1978, there are countless homes, apartments and other structures that still contain lead-based paint. Scraping off the old paint is hazardous, since it releases lead into the air through paint dust. Painting over the older coats may contain the lead from exposure, until that paint starts to peel or chip, at which time lead may be inhaled or ingested by a small child. Lead may be present not only in homes, but also on furniture, toys, and any other products which were created or painted prior to 1978.
Local Law One
In 2004, New York City passed a lead paint hazard reduction law, requiring the remediation of lead paint hazards in housing and day care. This law requires remediation in all multiple dwellings (a building with three or more apartments counts as a multiple dwelling) that were built before 1960 as well as those built between 1960 and 1978, if the owner knows there is lead-based paint present. Certain leased condos are also covered under the law.
In addition, the law requires the owners of such dwellings to provide notices to the occupants annually and at certain stages, such as at lease-up lease renewal. Owners must also identify units where children under six reside. At least annually, owners covered under the law must inspect the units and common areas for peeling paint, chewable surfaces, and other areas, and must remediate any lead hazards found there.
Seek an Experienced Personal Injury and Premises Liability Lawyer
Lead poisoning can cause many severe and life-threatening illnesses, including cognitive impairment and damage to the nervous system, as well as irreversible brain damage and even death for children and adults alike. Even low levels of lead can cause harm over time, including decreased intelligence, stunted physical growth, and hearing loss. If you believe that have been or are being exposed to lead in your home or apartment, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free initial consultation regarding your rights and possible legal remedies.