New Report Says Lead in School Water is Still a Problem

Despite a lot of testing, policy changes and improvement of water infrastructure, many children are still exposed to lead at school and are vulnerable to lead poisoning, say the authors of a new report titled “Get the Lead Out.” According to a USA Today news report, the report’s authors — who are with the Environment America Research and Policy Center and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund — are urging state and federal policymakers to address lead exposure in schools. This is the third report of its kind published since 2017 that has confirmed the persistence of this problem.

What the Report Says

The authors of the report found that current policies on lead in water are still not strong enough to protect children’s health. Several states in the last few years have gone from having no policies to instituting some policies. However, they only require remediation of taps where testing confirms higher lead concentrations.

Unfortunately, lead levels in water are highly variable. So, even proper sampling can fail to capture its full extent, the report said. The first report came out in 2017 after the water lead contamination scandal in Flint, Michigan. A previous USA Today analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data showed about 350 schools and daycare centers failed lead tests about 470 times from 2012 to 2015.

Here are some of the report’s recommendations:

• Replace fountains with water stations with filters that have been certified to remove lead.
• Install, test and maintain filters certified to remove lead on all taps that are used for drinking or cooking.
• Mandate testing at all water outlets used for drinking and cooking at all schools.
• Allocate adequate funding to implement these solutions.

Health Impact of Lead-Contaminated Water

Lead exposure, including that which occurs from school water fountains and taps, can be extremely harmful to health and cause lead poisoning. Even in small amounts, lead exposure can have effects on the brain and nervous system. Several studies have shown that elevated lead levels in children can lead to a lower IQ, decreased focus and even a propensity for behavioral issues and delinquency. In addition, lead poisoning can also cause severe health impacts such as anemia, kidney disease, irreversible brain damage and even death.

Under New York City Local Law 1 of 2004, building owners and managers are required to identify and fix lead paint hazards in apartments where young children (the age of 6 or under) live. This law applies to your apartment if it was built before 1960 or between 1960 and 1978 and the building has lead paint. Lead paint repairs must also be done if the building has three or more apartments or if a child the age of 6 or under lives in the apartment.

Contacting a NYC Lead Poisoning Lawyer

Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights. If your child has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, regardless of whether you live in public or private housing, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords (building owners and building managers) 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.

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 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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy 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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