Lead Poisoning and the Dangers it Poses to Young Children


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that no safe blood lead level in children has been identified and childhood lead exposure must be prevented before any harm occurs. The two forms or prevention identified by the CDC are primary prevention, or the removal of lead hazards from the environment before a child can be exposed, and secondary prevention such as blood lead testing and follow-up.

Lead poisoning has become a much greater concern in New York City after the New York Daily News reported on August 29, 2019, that the New York City Department of Education announced test results of the first ever study conducted in all of the city’s first-grade classrooms found that there was lead paint in 1,800 elementary classrooms in the city last year. The report came after the city reported in July that lead paint testing in all of the city’s classrooms built before 1978 and used by kindergartners and other pre-K students found dangerous levels of lead paint in over 900 classrooms.

According to the Daily News, the city has now found lead paint risk in more than 20 percent of the over 8,400 classrooms at schools built before 1978. Officials told the Daily News that all rooms were sealed over with primer and a new coat of paint, and experts said painting over the lead paint was safer than scraping it out.

On August 21, 2019, WPIX-TV reported that a 4-year-old girl had tested positive for high levels of lead in her blood and x-rays discovered pain chips in the girl’s stomach. WPIX noted that the CDC stated lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978, but all homes built prior to that year are likely to contain some kind of lead-based paint.

Children are one of the groups most at risk when it comes to lead paint. Pregnant women are also particularly at risk.

Lead paint in schools is only one form of possible exposure for children. Many older water pipes in homes or apartments could also contain lead.

Lead can also be found in certain toys or other products that children may place in their mouths. Keep in mind that lead paint also creates lead dust, which can be brought home with workers in certain industries commonly exposed to lead.

Lead Paint Poisoning In Children

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene states that New York State requires health care providers to test all 1- and 2-year-old children for lead, and children should continue to be assessed for lead exposure every year until they are 6 years of age. Pregnant women should be tested for lead during their first prenatal visit.

Lead poisoning in children can result in a long list of possibly lifelong symptoms that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Anemia
  • Speech problems
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Decreased muscle/bone growth
  • Neurological and renal damage
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Speech delay
  • Kidney damage
  • Stunted growth
  • Nervous system damage
  • Coma
  • Wrongful death

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as Title X, requires sellers of homes and landlords to disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards and provide any records and reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards available to them. You have may have grounds for a lawsuit when a seller or landlord failed to disclose a lead paint hazard.

Has your child tested positive for high levels of lead in New York? Finz & Finz, P.C., will fight for you.

Our firm will handle your case on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay us anything until we secure a verdict or settlement for you. Schedule a free consultation by calling (855) TOP-FIRM or fill out a contact form to speak with us right away.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.