The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) scandal continues to rock the city. Earlier this year, residents discovered that NYCHA had failed to conduct required lead inspections in public housing. The city and the federal government mandated these inspections. The NYCHA also falsified reports to the federal government claiming that it had in fact conducted these inspections. These failures to inspect left vulnerable children at risk for lead poisoning, which can cause serious health problemsincluding severe consequences for children’s brain development.
Lead Poisoning Numbers Continue to Rise
In August, the NYCHA admitted that 1,160 children living in public housingtested positive for lead poisoning. The number continues to increase. Initially, the Health Department reported that there were only 19 cases of lead poisoning in public housing. That number rose to 820 childrenin July.
The City was not using the standard required by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for testing for lead poisoning. The City was considering a positive test anything over 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood, while the CDC has long recommended testing over 5 micrograms as a positive test. This calls into question the credibility of City health officials. There is speculation that new numbers of children with lead poisoning in public housing will be revealed in the coming months.
Other Lead Concerns
In addition to lead present in NYC housing, New Yorkers should also be concerned about lead in the NYC schools. According to the Department of Education, more than 1,100 water fixtures in city school buildingsstill had lead despite efforts by the DOE to eliminate the risk. These fixtures contained lead levels over the 15 parts per billion threshold allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
These numbers are down considerably from the over 12,000 fixtures that tested positive for lead from 2016-2017. These fixtures included drinking fountains, bathroom sinks, and sinks used for washing and preparing food and were found in 83% of NYC public schools. These contaminated fixtures were found after it was discoveredthat the City was using a flawed testing method that may have been concealing lead contamination in schools.
It is clear that the City has been playing fast and loose with the health and safety of our children, both in housing and in schools, and should be held accountable.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you believe your child may have been injured by lead poisoning, you should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.