The New York City’s Department of Education has revealed that more than 1,800 elementary school classrooms have a lead paint problem, which is more than double the number reported in July. Chipping or peeling lead paint may significantly increase the risk of lead poisoning in young children, which may in turn trigger several health problems. According to a report in the New York Daily News, officials said all of these rooms have been sealed over with primer and a new coat of paint and will be safe for kids before the start of school on Sept. 6. Experts believe painting over the problem is safer than scraping out old lead paint.
Tests Find Significant Lead Risks
The city’s expanded lead testing has been a long time coming leaving safety advocates with questions about why the city did not test classrooms occupied by its youngest pupils for so long. These lead-paint results were part of a first-ever round of tests conducted in the city’s first grade classrooms and followed the results of lead paint testing reported by the city in July for all of the city’s classrooms built before 1978 and used by kindergartners and other pre-K students.
Those tests found risky levels of lead paint in more than 900 classrooms. The tests of first-grade classrooms released Aug. 29 found lead in more than 900 additional classrooms. New York City Department of Education officials are getting ready to send letters to the families of children in the affected classrooms. The department now plans to conduct more tests in common areas such as cafeterias and gyms. The city has now tested more than 8,400 classrooms at schools built before 1978, and found lead paint risk in over 20% of them.
Is Your Child’s Classroom on the List?
If your child’s classroom is on this list of lead-tainted locations, the first step to take is to ask your child’s pediatrician for a blood test and check their blood lead levels. You may also reach out to public health officials since they are likely to have a better sense of when and where your child may have been exposed.
Last year, 3,866 children younger than 6 in New York City had at least 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. That is the level at which the city is required to investigate the source of exposure. Parents should also consider if their child is prone to putting non-food items in their mouths. For example, if their children bite their nails, suck their thumbs or swallow things that aren’t food, they are at a higher risk of lead exposure.
Contacting an Experienced NYC Lead Poisoning Lawyer
A victim who has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, regardless of whether he or she has been exposed in a classroom or as a result of living in public or private housing, may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the school, NYC Department of Education, NYC Board of Education, NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords for damages. If your child has been exposed to lead in his or her classroom, you may be able to file a claim against responsible parties, including the school district.
Those who have been affected can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, lost income and benefits, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. A knowledgeable New York City lead poisoning lawyer will be able to help you file the lawsuit and compile the evidence that is required to hold the party accountable for its negligence (carelessness).
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 law 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 full insurance policy of one million dollars. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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