Lead poisoning is a public health hazard that primarily impacts the most vulnerable among us: children and infants. The discovery of lead's dangerous effects led to a ban on the sale of lead paint in 1978; however, lead poisoning persists to this day, since houses and other structures that were built prior to the lead ban remain. A child may suffer exposure to this toxic substance by coming into contact with leaded dust or chipped lead paint and then orally ingesting the substance off of contaminated fingers. Too much exposure can lead to devastating physical and mental consequences.
The experienced New York lead poisoning attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, have achieved optimal outcomes for many clients with lead poisoning claims. We possess extensive experience and resources for handling these types of cases. Let us help you and your child get what you need for recovery. For a free and confidential case evaluation, please call us today at (212) 986-7353.
If you or your child were exposed to lead in a rental property, or if your child has suffered lead poisoning due to a toy, you may have a viable case. There are a wide variety of circumstances which can bring about a lead poisoning incident. A top NY personal injury lawyer can investigate the details of your case to identify the cause of the lead poisoning.Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program (Section 1018 of Title X), a federal law that was enacted in 1992, landlords leasing rental apartments or homes built prior to 1978 must disclose certain information about lead hazards in the residence before closing the deal. A disclosure form approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be signed by both the landlord and the tenant and retained by landlords as a part of their records.
Tenants must also be supplied with an EPA- or state-approved pamphlet that informs them of how to protect themselves from lead hazards in their residence.
Landlords who violate these regulations may face penalties of up to $16,000 for each incident. They may also be held liable for any tenant injuries that result from their negligence.
The following properties are exempt from Title X disclosure regulations:
- Lofts and studio apartments
- Vacation rentals lasting only up to 100 days
- Housing for which construction began after January 1, 1978
- Single rooms in residential buildings
- Certified lead-free housing
- Housing built with the disabled in mind (exception is null if any child younger than 6 lives there)
- Retirement housing (exception is null if any child younger than 6 lives there)
To find out whether your house or apartment is exempted from regulations, consult with a lawyer who handles lead poisoning cases.
According to the Toxic Substances Control Act, landlords renovating rental property constructed before 1978 are required to disclose lead hazard information to current tenants within 60 days of the renovation starting date. Any work that disturbs painted surfaces is considered a renovation by the EPA, excepting minor repairs and emergency renovations. If there is lead-based paint found on surfaces or areas being demolished or renovated, tenants may need to leave the property for several days while the work is being done to protect them from airborne lead.
Children age 7 and younger who are exposed to significant levels of lead are at an increased risk of suffering developmental disabilities later in life. Infants are even more vulnerable; they only need to be exposed to low levels of lead in order to be affected.
Child victims of lead poisoning commonly exhibit the following symptoms:
- Behavioral and developmental issues (such as hyperactivity)
- Decreased growth rate
- Issues with cognitive functions and the nervous system
- Hearing problems
- Chronic headaches
Adults are not immune to the effects of lead. They may also suffer adverse consequences due to exposure, including:
- Problems during pregnancy
- Reproductive issues
- High blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Nerve disorders
- Muscle and joint pain
- Decreased memory and concentration capabilities
Even if you experience symptoms of lead poisoning, it can be difficult to tell if you’ve actually been exposed to lead. One of the best ways to determine if your environment is affecting you is to monitor how you feel when you are away. If you feel fine all day at work, or your children are fine at school, but you or your child experiences headaches, problems with concentration, or other issues while at home, there may be something harmful present. Any time you experience negative conditions in your home, take action to determine the cause; it may be lead, carbon monoxide, mold, or some other environmental toxin.
The following steps can be taken to prevent both children and adults from being harmed due to lead poisoning:
- Keep children and pregnant women away from old houses (pre-1978) that are undergoing renovation.
- Use barriers to restrict your child's access to lead sources.
- Discard any of your children's toys that contain lead.
- Regularly wet-wipe your floors and window components.
- Keep your child from playing in bare soil.
If you believe you or your child has been exposed to excess amounts of lead, go to your doctor immediately. There are treatments available for lead poisoning; however, especially with children, they are most effective when the poisoning is detected in its early stages.
The top New York personal injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, are dedicated and committed to each and every case we accept. Our clients receive our full attention and efforts, no matter what. If you want assistance from a legal team that'll support you every step of the way, contact us today.
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- Lead Poisoning - NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
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- Lead Poisoning - MedlinePlus
- Lead and Your Health - NIH
- Lead Poisoning - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences