The New York City Housing Authority has been chastised for violating rules and regulations regarding lead exposure after it was discovered that agency inspectors had not been checking apartments for lead paint. Federal and city law required the agency to inspect the properties annually to check for the presence of lead, and it failed to do so. At the end of June, the New York City Health Department announced that it had discovered 820 children under the age of 6 that had elevated levels of lead in their systems between 2012 and 2016. Given the long-term health consequences that can result from lead exposure, especially for children, this information is alarming.
If a person is exposed to high levels of lead over even a short period, they can experience lead poisoning. Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
- Loss of Cognitive Skills
- Developmental Delays
- Behavioral Problems
- Learning Difficulties
- Growth Delays
- Hearing Problems
- Abdominal pain
- Memory loss
- Pain and tingling in the extremities
- Loss of appetite
Because these symptoms can mimic other illnesses and may appear slowly, lead poisoning can be easily overlooked. Exposure to high levels of lead can lead to anemia, kidney disease, brain damage, and even death.
Pregnant women who are exposed to lead can also expose their unborn child. Lead crosses the placental barrier and can lead to damage in a baby’s nervous system and even behavioral or developmental challenges. Pregnant women exposed to lead can be at a higher risk for pre-eclampsia and decreased kidney function. Lead exposure can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.
Children who are exposed to high levels of lead are particularly susceptible to illness. Children show symptoms of lead poisoning at much lower lead levels than adults. Neurological effects and developmental disabilities have been found to result from lead exposure. Children can also suffer from decreased bone and muscle strength and seizures. Children do not have to eat paint chips to be exposed to lead. They can inhale lead from dust found around their homes.
Exposure to small amounts of lead over an extended period is called chronic toxicity and can also lead to health problems including:
- Fertility problems
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Negative cognitive effects
- Developmental delays
There is no “safe” blood lead level, and even small amounts can lead to serious health conditions.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you believe that you or your child has been injured by lead exposure, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español