The Dangers of Lead Poisoning
Lead exposure comes from a number of sources. Lead may be present in:
- Deteriorating paint
- The air
- Drinking water
- Contaminated soil
Lead has been used in many products, including paint, gasoline and water pipes. Although most types of paint used today are made without lead, lead-based paint was common not too long ago. For that reason, a lot of old paint inside houses and buildings, and on old toys and household products, contain lead. Old, deteriorating paint is one of the most common sources of lead exposure in the US today. This exposure can arise from deteriorating walls and other painted surfaces, and from improper lead abatement, which can create dust from dry scraping, sanding or open-flame burning.
Lead is harmful to children and adults alike, but lead poisoning in children can be especially harmful. When children ingest or breathe lead, it may cause:
- Brain damage
- Behavioral problems
- Diminished intelligence
Children are much more vulnerable to lead, but adults exposed to large amounts of lead over and over again may suffer adverse health effects.
Landlords’ Responsibilities to Prevent Lead Poisoning
Lead-based paint has not been allowed for use in residential housing for over fifty years, yet the problem remains. In many cases, lead paint has been covered by new paint, which does not effectively eliminate the potential for exposure.
At Shafran & Rock, PLLC law firm, we hold property owners accountable for negligence that causes lead poisoning. This exposure is often caused by property owners who fail to take the steps required to protect their tenants from lead exposure. A landlord may be held responsible for lead injuries under the following conditions:
- The landlord knows a child 6 years of age or younger resides in the household.
- The building was constructed before lead paint was prohibited, which is generally prior to 1960 in New York.
- The landlord has a right to enter the apartment to make repairs.
- The landlord knows or should know of deteriorating, cracked or peeling paint.
If these elements are present in your case, our experienced lead poisoning attorney may be able to pursue compensation on your behalf for the injuries caused by lead poisoning.
Preventing Lead Exposure
Although there is not much you can do about negligent landlords who allow their tenants to be exposed to lead paint in rental properties, you can take steps to prevent lead exposure in your own life. The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following measures to prevent lead exposure from ever happening:
- Keep your children’s play areas clean and free of dust to prevent them from coming in contact with lead-laden dust.
- If lead-based paint is present, do not disturb it by sanding or burning the paint.
- Do not try to remove lead paint. Hire a trained professional to safely remove the lead paint. For additional information on dealing with lead-based paint removal, you should contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development and ask for these documents: Comprehensive and Workable Plan for the Abatement of Lead-Based Paint in Privately Owned Housing: Report to Congress; and, Lead-Based Paint: Interim Guidelines for Hazard Identification and Abatement in Public and Indian Housing.
- Do not bring lead into your home. If you work in construction, demolition, or another industry where you may come in contact with lead, be sure to change your clothes and shoes, and wash your hands before returning home.
- Prepare meals for your children that are rich in iron and calcium, which helps your child’s body to absorb less lead. Use lead-free kitchenware and dishes.
Our attorneys and legal team have witnessed first-hand the ways in which lead exposure can harm children and adults. We believe this type of poisoning should never occur, and we hope all people will take the necessary steps to prevent lead exposure.
To find out if we can help you pursue compensation for lead poisoning injuries, please contact Shafran & Rock, PLLC, for a free consultation with our experienced lead poisoning attorney serving Kingston, New Paltz, Newburgh, Middletown, New Windsor, Poughkeepsie and the surrounding areas.