Public schools in New Jersey will be required to test their water for lead twice more than at present and share the results on a new state database. According to an Associated News report, these guidelines were announced Oct. 7 keeping up with a series of measures spurred by the recent water crisis in Newark. In that city, residents in 14,000 homes with lead pipes have been given bottled water since mid-August after testing showed lead levels were too high.
Testing for Lead More Often
A recent survey by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer found that about 20 percent of the school districts did not post information on lead testing on their websites and that in other cases this crucial information was hard to find. Schools that fail to comply with these new reporting requirements may face penalties. Under the current guidelines, schools are required to test for lead every six years.
Now, they will need to test once every three years. The Associated Press reports that the state has about 160,000 lead pipes. Last spring, the city switched the chemicals it was using to treat its water supply after tests showed the previous treatment was failing. The city is facing a federal lawsuit that claims it failed to adequately notify residents or act quickly enough when it became clear that the lead level in the water was rising. The city has denied those allegations.
New York City schools are currently under scrutiny for excessive lead levels in drinking water. Back in July, more than 900 New York City elementary school classrooms had tested positive for lead after inspections revealed the presence of peeling, chipped or otherwise deteriorating lead paint. These troubling results marked the first time that the Department of Education has ever released statistics on lead paint in classrooms. The presence of excessive levels of lead was discovered during inspections of 5,408 classrooms in aging buildings. New York City pledged to make the classrooms safe before the start of the school year.
The Impact of Lead on Children
Lead poisoning in children is often caused by peeling lead paint, by lead service lines — pipes connecting a home to a water main, or by lead fixtures in a home or school.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and the central nervous system resulting in coma, convulsions and even death.
Children who survive lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioral disorders. In particular, lead can affect children’s neurological development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ); behavioral changes such as reduced attention span and increased anti-social behavior; and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure may also cause anemia, hypertension, kidney damage and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.
Protecting Your Rights</strong)
A victim who has been diagnosed with excess lead levels, regardless of whether he or she lives in public or private housing, may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords for damages. 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 agency accountable for its negligence (carelessness), if the lead exposure happens in New York state.
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 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.
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.
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