According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lead in paint is one of the most hazardous sources of lead poisoning for children. In 1978, lead was outlawed in paint nationally. However, it appears some New Yorkers still have cause for concern. A mother was recently alarmed when tests reviewed by her daughter’s pediatrician revealed that her 2-year-old had dangerous levels of toxic lead in her blood.
The mom suspected that the source of the lead poisoning was the paint in her public housing apartment. Tests of Helen Jackson’s home by city health officials showed she might be right. However, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) officials insisted she was not, reported the New York Daily News (4.13.15).
Many poorly maintained old buildings contain lead paint which may be flaking off of the walls. When the toxic lead is ingested or inhaled by a child it can be extremely dangerous. The NYDN reported that Jackson’s husband caught their daughter “eating paint chips off the floor near their TV just a few weeks back.”
According to the pediatrician, Jackson’s child had a blood-lead level close to four times the acceptable level. Lead paint can pose a serious health risk to children. Among the effects of lead poisoning listed by the Mayo Clinic are learning problems; developmental delays; hearing loss; abdominal pain; slowed growth; damage to the brain, kidneys and nervous system; seizures, and possibly death.
The New York Daily News reported that hundreds of city children still test positive each year for blood-lead levels considered dangerous. In 2012, the last year of available data, five New York City children were identified as having blood-lead levels so high they required hospitalization. A total of 923 children under six years of age tested positive for lead poisoning. Lead is harmful to developing fetuses and adults, as well.
Lawsuits can be brought on behalf of children who have suffered lead poisoning. Because children exposed to lead paint may suffer long-term consequences, including mild to moderate brain damage, these children and their parents may be entitled to be compensated by those responsible for the poisoning.
Parents or guardians who believe that their child has been lead poisoned should contact an experienced lawyer.