The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) has admitted that it has made slow progress in evaluating homes and centers for lead paint. According to a recent news report, it has now been several months since Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office ramped up lead testing across the city after a WNYC investigation found four schools with potentially dangerous lead levels. However, NYCHA has only managed to complete lead paint testing in 25 percent of public housing units that posed a risk of lead poisoning for its most vulnerable residents and visitors – children under the age of 6.
NYCHA’s goal is to test every apartment built before 1978 by the end of 2020. While that milestone approaches quickly, NYCHA admits it has only tested about a quarter of those apartments, which means families and young children in particular are being exposed to lead paint in thousands of public housing units (the projects). Also, more than 900 New York City classrooms were found with damaged or peeling lead-based paint.
Work Has Been Lagging
While NYCHA has made significant progress with testing in some developments such as Marble Hill Houses in the Bronx, in another housing complex just down the road, Fort Independence Houses, testing hasn’t started. Apartments that test positive for lead paint must be fixed within 21 days if a child under the age of 6 lives there. If not, the city will have a year to remove the flaking paint and repaint the unit. Developments with large numbers of young children were marked as a priority for testing by the city, because younger children are most at serious health risks from lead poisoning.
Safety advocates say the testing process is not moving quickly enough because more children and adults are being exposed to toxic conditions for a longer period of time. At the end of January, NYCHA announced it would test 174 community centers that serve young children, as part of its agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some of those centers initially scheduled were determined to have been built after 1978 when lead-based paint was banned. However, another 21 have been rescheduled for testing.
Young Children at Risk
Fixing lead contamination in homes may also lead to other complications. For example, in order to properly repair the lead paint issues in a home, the family living there must move out temporarily. When removing or scraping off paint chips from the wall, the dust may become airborne and can be accidentally inhaled.
Dust that contains lead and can be extremely harmful, particularly to young children living in the housing units. Lead dust, which can come from chipping and peeling paint and construction etc., is among the most hazardous forms of lead because it can be easily inhaled and spread through the air, ductworks, etc.
The people who are most affected by these lead paint problems are low-income individuals and families living in older homes that were built before 1960. The 1978 law was supposed to end child lead poisoning in New York City by 2010. However, that has yet to happen. Schools are required to be tested several times a year, but some of those identified as now contaminated have not been tested for as long as five years. As a result, many NYC children may have been exposed to lead in their homes, schools and public spaces. Advocates are also calling for lead testing in city playgrounds.
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 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 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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