We now know the number of children who were residing in New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) buildings who tested positive for lead poisoning or high levels of lead in their systems: 820. According to The New York Times, this number was disclosed by the city’s department of health. Overall, 820 children under the age of 6 were found to have elevated blood lead levels between 2012 and 2016.
Large Number of Cases
The children tested positive for lead levels of 5 to 9 micrograms per deciliter. The threshold set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. The health department reportedly sent out detailed letters alerting the children’s parents and healthcare providers, offering guidance on how to reduce exposure. But, the health department did not inspect the apartments where the children lived. That’s because city policy requires evidence of lead level that is 10 micrograms per deciliter before an apartment can be inspected and the NYCHA notified.
This number of cases is far larger than the number listed in the U.S. Attorney’s civil complaint filed after a lengthy investigation, which culminated in accusations of mismanagement and malfeasance. Federal prosecutors said at least 19 children were found to have been exposed to chipping and peeling lead paint in NYCHA apartments, although they qualified that number by saying that it understates the true extent of harm caused by NYCHA’s lead paint violations.
The agency admitted in a consent decree that there was lead paint inside apartments in at least 92 of its 325 housing developments and that it failed to inspect for lead paint hazards from at least 2012 to 2016. The city has apparently recently changed its policy and has begin inspecting all NYCHA apartments where children under 18 have been found with lead levels of 5 micrograms per deciliter or more.
How Lead Can Harm Young Children
According to the CDC, about 310,000 1-5 year old children in the United States are believed to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. Excess levels of lead result in a number of serious health issues from headaches and stomach pain to behavioral problems and anemia. Lead may also affect a child’s developing brain. And because people with lead poisoning may show only mild symptoms, it is crucial that kids at risk of exposure undergo blood tests for lead. In children, lead poisoning may lead to a variety of health problems including decreased bone and muscle growth, poor muscle coordination, damage to the kidneys and nervous system, hearing issues, speech and language problems and developmental delays.
A majority of children get lead poisoning from lead-based paint, which was used in many U.S. homes until the late 1970s when the government prohibited the use of paint containing lead. This is why children who live in older homes are at a greater risk for lead poisoning. If your child has lead poisoning because your landlord was in violation of lead paint standards or because your building was poorly maintained, you may be able to recover compensation on behalf of your child. You may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. An experienced New York City lead poisoning lawyer will be able to help you file the lawsuit and compile evidence that is required to hold the agency accountable for its negligence.
Filing a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit
If your child has been affected by lead poisoning, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our firm recovered $1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from paint in her apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $162,500 above the $1 million dollar total insurance policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the insurance full policy of one million dollars.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!