New York and New Jersey Lead Poisoning Lawyers
Lead poisoning has devastated young children and their families again and again. Even though the United States’ Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of lead-based paint in homes and apartments in 1978, childhood lead poisoning affects half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 across the U.S.
To give a common example, poorly maintained rental properties throughout the United States contain lead paint that is flaking off of the walls. If the toxic lead is ingested or inhaled, it can be extremely dangerous for young children in particular, whose brains are especially susceptible to injury from chemicals during development. Eating, sucking on, or inhaling lead paint chips can cause serious injuries, including:
- Brain damage
- Growth or mental retardation
- Seizures or convulsions
- Coma or death
Many cases of children diagnosed with lead poisoning are caused by the lead-based paint where they have lived at some point in their lives. These children may be entitled to financial compensation for the lead poisoning injury they suffer through a lawsuit or personal injury claim. If your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning, our deeply-experienced lawyers can provide you with a free consultation and claim evaluation to determine the benefits for which your family may be entitled.
Why is lead dangerous?
Lead is a highly toxic metal, and it was used for many years in numerous products found in and around the home. The most common source of childhood lead poisoning, however, is the peeling, chipping, and flaking lead-based paint typically found in older residential apartment buildings and homes. The older your home, the more likely lead-based paint is present.
Lead is also a neurotoxin, which poisons the nervous system and is especially dangerous to young children and their developing brains. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found that permanent damage will be done to a developing child’s brain, organs, and nervous system at levels as low as 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood.
Typically children suffer lead poisoning after eating or sucking on lead paint chips, or breathing dust from lead paint. Lead poisoning can also develop if high levels of lead are contained in toys or products commonly used by children. And just a little exposure to toxic lead can result in child lead poisoning.
What is lead poisoning?
Lead is a highly toxic metal that has been used for many years in products found throughout the home. Unfortunately, lead is also a neurotoxin, which poisons the nervous system and is especially dangerous to young children and their developing brains.
Lead exposure has terrible consequences, and lead poisoning is most common and damaging in young children. The primary cause of lead poisoning is exposure to lead-based paint. The health risks posed by lead-based paint are profound, particularly in cities and urban areas where houses are older. For a child, even the tiniest amount of lead-based paint is potentially hazardous if the paint begins to peel, chip, or generate dust. Since no quantity of lead at all is safe in the body, the briefest exposure can lead to catastrophic results.
The United States’ Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of lead-based paint in homes and apartments in 1978 (see the EPA’s pamphlet here) and New York City banned its use in residential apartment buildings back in 1960. Before that time, lead had been a common metal used in plumbing pipes and house paint. Children who live in homes built before 1978 may suffer from lead poisoning if they ingest chips of lead-based paint or dust, since multiple layers of paint remain in homes built before 1978. Frequently, lead poisoning occurs when homes containing lead-based paint are remodeled or renovated without taking necessary precautions.
Childhood lead poisoning continues to affect as many as 500,000 children aged from 1 to 5 across the U.S., despite the ban and warnings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the March of Dimes, OB/GYNs, and pediatricians all warn us of the dangers of lead paint.
How does lead enter a child’s body?
When babies and young children begin to explore their environment, they tend to place their hands, fingers, toys, and other objects in their mouths. If their home contains deteriorated lead-based paint, their hands, fingers, toys, and objects become covered with lead dust which then enters their bodies through their mouths.
Lead can also enter the body of a young child when they:
- Eat paint chips or soil contaminated by lead;
- Chew on window sills, doors, or moldings; or
- Breathe in lead dust released during renovation projects.
Breathing in even the smallest particles of lead paint dust can cause lead poisoning in young children. One tiny paint chip, eaten by a young child who unknowingly places it in her mouth, can send her blood lead level far over the CDC definition of lead poisoning.
In addition to paint, toys often contain lead. In some instances, to give an example, toy jewelry contains lead levels that can pose a serious health risk to children.
What happens once a child ingests lead?
Once ingested, lead is absorbed by the soft tissues of the body and brain, where it interferes with the development of the child’s nervous system. Ingesting lead could result in the child suffering permanent learning disabilities, behavioral problems, ADD, and ADHD. The lead eventually gets stored in the child’s bones, where it is slowly released back into the body and discharged over a period of decades.
There is no cure for lead poisoning.
Once a child ingests poisonous lead, it cannot be removed from their system, and the damage done to their brains and bodies cannot be reversed.
What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
If your child has learning disabilities, ADHD, ADD, or is struggling in school and was diagnosed with lead poisoning as a child – you may have a claim against the owner or landlord of the home or apartment where you lived with your child.
Lead poisoning can cause a child to suffer the following debilitating and permanent brain and nervous system injuries:
- Brain damage
- Delayed development
- Behavioral problems
- Learning disabilities
- Reduced IQ
- Problems paying attention and staying focused
- Problems in school
- Academic failures
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome)
- Neuropsychological deficits
- Neuro-maturational delays
- Stomach aches
- At certain levels, lead can cause seizures, brain swelling (encephalopathy) and death.
If your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning, here’s what you need to do:
1. Contact the Department of Health.
If your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning – and you have peeling, chipping, flaking, and deteriorated paint in your home or apartment, contact your local County, City or State Department of Health and request an inspection for lead paint hazards.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the State and City of New York consider a child lead poisoned if they have 10 micrograms per deciliter (mg/dl) of lead in their bloodstream. The New York City Department of Health estimates that at least 30,000 children have blood lead levels of 10 mg/dl, or higher.
2. Test the paint in your home, and get your child’s blood tested.
If you have concerns that there may be lead paint in your home, and your child is being exposed to lead, contact a qualified professional to test the paint in your home, and have your child or children tested at their pediatrician’s office for lead poisoning through a simple blood test. Then discuss the risks and impact of lead poisoning with your child’s doctor.
Parents Against Toxins
ParentsAgainstToxins.org, an informational site we have sponsored, is a good source for information about how parents can keep their children safe from toxins such as lead. Among many topics covered in “Top 5 Toxins Linked to Preventable Birth Defects” is a detailed explanation of why lead poisoning is harmful, how it affects women and men, and how it affects babies. Additionally, this section covers in detail how parents can protect their families from lead exposure.
3. Consult with an experienced lead poisoning lawyer.
After these steps are taken, please contact us – the top lead poisoning lawyers at Phillips & Paolicelli, LLP – for legal advice. Many states, including New York and New Jersey, have laws which require landlords and owners to keep their apartments and homes free of peeling paint, especially if young children are living in the apartment or home. Our consultation with you is confidential and free – at no cost to you. We will discuss your legal options and how to protect your child. We will explain to you in detail the best way to protect your rights for any injuries caused by lead exposure and lead poisoning.
How our Lead Poisoning lawyers can help you
The top lead poisoning lawyers at Phillips & Paolicelli, LLP have successfully represented hundreds of young children who have been poisoned by lead. We understand the nature of the disease, the fault of the landlord, and that your child’s brain should have not been damaged had the landlord merely painted your apartment, as the law requires.
Phillips & Paolicelli’s attorneys have decades of experience, working with leading experts in the field, representing the interests of children whose lives have been irreparably altered as a result of their lead poisoning injuries.
In short, we can help you by:
- Using our decades of experience and developed expertise to evaluate your case;
- Investigating and then determining fault;
- Arranging for expert testimony;
- Handling insurance companies;
- Developing a winning case in the court room; and
- Fighting for you in the negotiating room.
Finally, our initial consultations are free of charge, and our lead poisoning lawyers will be delighted to lend you a hand. Please contact Phillips & Paolicelli, LLP today at (855) 220-6770 to set up a free consultation.