Every year over two million people suffer from the effects of lead poisoning, which often results in irreparable developmental, behavioral, neurological, and gastrointestinal health problems, particularly in developing fetuses and young children.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to lead paint, you may be suffering from symptoms such as nerve issues, muscle and joint pain, reduced sperm count, headaches, mood disorders, digestive issues, high blood pressure, and even concentration or memory problems. A doctor can run tests to see if you have been exposed and can begin treatment – the sooner the better.
Those are the severe and life-changing effects lead poisoning can have adults, but what about small children or infants? Lead poisoning symptoms in children can include developmental delays, learning difficulties, loss of appetite leading to weight loss, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, hearing loss, seizures, hyperactivity, and even pica, which is eating things, such as wood chips or paper, which are not food.
If an expectant mother is exposed to or ingested lead paint, they are more likely to have difficulty with pregnancy, miscarriages, stillbirths, or have an infant born prematurely, with lower birth weight, or slowed growth. These results are dramatic and scary and can cause lifelong problems for these children.
If you believe you have been exposed to lead paint, you should contact a lead exposure lawyer who can help you navigate the justice system and find out who is at fault for your condition.
Important Lead Paint Facts:
- Lead poisoning is caused by both swallowing and even breathing in lead.
- Children under 6 years old are most at risk for lead poisoning.
- Lead can cause serious learning and behavior problems in children, including slowing down growth and development, damaging hearing and speech, and making it more difficult for the child to pay attention and learn.
- Most children get lead poisoning from lead paint in homes built before 1978. The dust from cracking and peeling paint is so small it often cannot be seen, but is ingested.
- A lead test performed by a doctor is the only real way to know if someone has lead poisoning. Many children exposed to lead to not look, act, or feel “sick.”
- Exposure to lead can also occur from water, when lead pipes carrying the water corrode and the lead leaches into the water and becomes your drinking water.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no “safe” level of lead exposure for children. Even a low level of this neurotoxin in their blood can lead to lower IQ levels, hurt their ability to pay attention, and can affect their academic achievement. Unfortunately, the effects of lead exposure cannot be cured.
How To Protect Against Lead Paint?
- If you live in a house or apartment building built before 1978, have your home inspected by a licensed lead inspector and cleared for safety.
- If you believe your child might be exposed, use wet paper towels to clean up lead dust, especially around windows, play areas, and the flooring.
- Wash yours and your child’s hands often, and wash their toys with soap and water.
- If you suspect cracking or peeling paint has lead in it, use contact paper or duct tape to cover the chipping paint until you can have it inspected and removed.
- Always keep pregnant women and small children away from home renovations, which can produce toxic dust. Also, be sure you are using licensed workers who are trained in lead safety.
Lead is found in more than just paint. Other than paint, products and substances that commonly contain lead are some household and renovation dust, ceramics, home remedies, some hair dyes, some cosmetics, candy and toys made overseas, and lead can be found in some work, such as auto refinishing, construction, and plumbing. You may also have read recently about child lead exposure in national news reports about lead in drinking water, particularly the terrible plight in Flint, Michigan and in public schools in Newark, New Jersey.
At The Ashley Law firm, we are experienced lead paint attorneys who understand that this is a stressful and difficult time for you and your child. We will help you determine fault and bring suit against the perpetrators, whether that is a property owner, property management company, public housing agency, construction firm, or anyone else who may have been involved.
One reason a qualified lead paint lawyer will be helpful for you is because our lawyers understand that lead poisoning in New York is governed under Local Law 1 of 2004, which is “a comprehensive law concerning the prevention of childhood lead poisoning through the remediation of lead paint hazards in housing, which became effective on August 2, 2004. Local Law 1 replaced Local Law 1 of 1982 and Local Law 38 of 1999, both of which were considered to provide inadequate protection to children and were struck down by New York high court. […] The pursuit of primary prevention has been recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and promoted by leading experts in the field as a critical course of action to protect the health of children.”
Property owners are required by law to prevent any foreseeable possibility of lead exposure to children and to remediate any issues right away using safe and best practices. They are also required to notify any occupants or tenants of possible lead exposure, investigate annually for any issues with lead, and immediately fix the problem if lead is found during investigations or reported by tenants. Lead paint in a multiple family housing home with a child under six years old in occupancy is a class C violation of these laws.
The lead exposure lawyers at The Ashley Law Firm are experienced in these matters and will be able to work with you throughout the process of litigation and help you receive compensation for medical bills and expenses, ongoing therapies, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.