New York Lead Paint Detection

Facts on Lead Paint Poisoning

Helping You Understand Lead Poisoning Law in New York City

“Lead is still present in many of our neighborhoods, but we can limit exposure to children and adults by working together.” — EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

The effects of lead poisoning can be insidious. In the 19th century, workers routinely suffered from and died from lead poisoning in a broad range of industries for decades before a causal connection was suspected and, later, proved. If you work or live in the presence of lead, it’s important that you understand the basics and facts of lead poisoning as well as your legal rights in the event of injuries or the loss of a child or other loved one.

At The Orlow Firm, we have provided lead poisoning facts and committed legal representation to New Yorkers since 1981. If you or your child has been poisoned by lead, chances are symptoms will be invisible and that serious harm, if it occurs, will manifest itself long after exposure begins. Symptoms and injuries can include:

  • Adults: headaches, abdominal pain, memory loss, kidney failure, pain and tingling in the extremities
  • Children: loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, constipation, anemia, kidney failure, irritability, lethargy, learning disabilities and behavior problems

The primary method for detecting lead poisoning is a blood lead level (BLL) test, administered by a doctor. If you suspect you or your child has been poisoned by lead, or if you need help in accessing medical care, contact the lawyers of The Orlow Firm. We have handled lead poisoning cases and can help in all aspects of blood poisoning litigation, from initial testing to the pursuit of compensation through settlement negotiations and trial.

Contact the Orlow Firm

Contact The Orlow Firm for experienced representation and for additional information on lead poisoning. We offer free initial consultations and operate four offices across New York City for your convenience. We can go to you if you cannot come to us.

To contact a New York lead paint attorney, call (646) 647-3398.

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New York Lead Paint Laws

New York Lead Paint Regulation

Handling Injury Cases Resulting from Exposure to Toxic Substances Since 1981

Since 1995, New York City, aided by strict laws protecting residents from the dangers posed by lead paint and other lead sources, has greatly reduced the number of child suffering lead poisoning. Over a 10-year period, lead poisoning among children declined by 82 percent.

General liability laws protect injured individuals’ rights to pursue compensation following the diagnosis of lead poisoning injuries. Additionally, New York’s Local Law 1 provides numerous safeguards, such as:

  • Requiring landlords to inform tenants of lead hazards
  • Providing for the inspection of apartments occupied by children under 6 years old
  • Providing guidelines and requirements regarding the legal removal of identified lead

Despite New York City’s effective lead paint laws, large numbers of adults and children continue to suffer from lead poisoning each year. In a recent year, almost 3,500 children in New York City were identified with elevated blood lead levels (BLLs).

Because lead poisoning can lead to serious injuries and even death, parents in New York must remain vigilant both in protecting themselves and their children from lead poisoning and in pursuing their legal rights if lead poisoning occurs. The attorneys of The Orlow Firm can help in all legal matters relating to lead poisoning. We bring a nearly 30-year trial history to each lead poisoning case we handle, and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients.

Contact the Orlow Firm

Contact The Orlow Firm for experienced personal injury legal help and for information regarding lead paint laws. We offer free initial consultations and operate four offices across New York City for your convenience. We can go to you if you cannot come to us.

To contact a lawyer, call (646) 647-3398.

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Procedure Changes for Lead Testing Methods at NYC Schools

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New York City has recently stated an adjustment to its procedure for testing the water supply of schools for dangerous lead levels. This new procedure is being implemented after experts said the methods that were being used could lower the levels found.

The night before the samples were taken the contractors would let the water run from all outlets for two hours. This is a practice known as pre-stagnation flushing which can lead to lower than normal lead levels in samples. The Environmental Protection Agency does have voluntary guidelines for testing the water in schools that do not mention pre-stagnation flushing.

A Spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that in the future the city will try to test the water as much as possible while school is in session and not on Monday mornings. Starting in October the city plans to retest every building that had over 15 parts per billion of lead.

If you have questions regarding lead poisoning in the New York City area, contact the personal injury attorneys of The Orlow Firm. Call (646) 647-3398 or send us a message online.

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Lead Paint Poisoning and Children

You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and most children with lead poisoning do not even have symptoms. Even at high levels of lead in the blood, common symptoms such as stomach aches and anemia are similar to illnesses that are much less serious. But, over time, children exposed to very high levels of lead can suffer seizures, severe brain damage, coma and death. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure in children have been linked to lower intelligence, decreased hearing, hyperactivity, attention deficit, and developmental problems that affect the ability to learn.

Children under the age of 6 are especially hurt by exposure to lead. Their growing bodies absorb more of the substance. In addition, their brains and nervous systems are particularly sensitive to lead’s damaging effects. Babies and toddlers often put their hands, as well as other objects, in their mouths. When they do this, they may also be swallowing or breathing in lead dust.

Sources of Lead Paint

Lead-based paint was used in many houses built before 1978. Paint chips, found both inside and outside of the house, can be all too easily ingested by children. The soil around a dwelling can also pick up lead from exterior paint or residue from leaded gas that was once used in cars. Children can swallow or inhale lead dust by playing in or near soil around the yard. When this soil is tracked into the house, it becomes part of household dust, along with deteriorating lead-based paint found indoors.

Older buildings such as schools may also present risks of contact with lead. As recently as February, 2012, lead paint chips were detected in a Virginia elementary school. Other sources of lead exposure are drinking water from plumbing pipes containing lead, old painted toys and furniture, food and liquids that have been stored in lead-glazed pottery or porcelain, and hobbies that use lead, such as furniture refinishing and making pottery and stained glass.

What To Do If Parents Suspect Lead Exposure

Parents who suspect their child has been exposed to lead should consult a doctor right away for a test of the child’s blood lead level (BLL). The normal level of blood lead is zero and there is no safe level of lead in the blood. For children ages 1-5, levels of 5 or above are of very serious concern. Parents should also contact the Department of Health and arrange for a full inspection of their living quarters. If lead conditions in the home create a risk of a BLL of 5 or above, parents should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to pursue appropriate legal action.

Only a specially trained and certified lead-abatement contractor can permanently remove a lead hazard. Parents who suspect a lead hazard in their home can take immediate temporary measures to reduce the risk to children. In addition to contacting their child’s doctor and the Department of Health, parents should report peeling or chipped paint to the landlord. Parents should clean up paint chips, regularly wash floors, window frames and window sills, clean or remove shoes before entering the home, keep children’s play areas clean, regularly wash bottles, pacifiers, toys and stuffed animals, and wash children’s hands before meals, nap time and bed time.

Lead Concentrations Have Declined, But Children Still At Risk

The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in houses in 1978. The U.S. government also removed lead from gasoline in the 1970s and cut down on smokestack emissions from lead smelters and other industrial sources. Although there has been a steep decline in airborne lead exposure, certain counties may still be exceeding permissible levels. Furthermore, children may continue to be at risk from airborne lead from sanding or heating old paint or from burning or melting automobile batteries. Overall, lead concentrations have declined in all children. Poor children, and black children, however, continue to have higher concentrations of lead in their blood than other children.

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What You Need to Know about Lead Paint & Lead Poisoning in New York

Lead poisoning is a surprisingly common occurrence in New York City. This is especially troubling because lead poisoning can cause serious health problems and even death. Since the 1970s, state and federal government has been trying to eliminate lead-paint exposure. Unfortunately, the process has been slow-going and people continue to be victimized by lead paint to this day.

What Is Lead And Lead Poisoning?

Lead is a metal that harms people when it gets in their bodies. According to the New York Department of Health, lead can be found in a variety of sources:

  • Dust
  • Air
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Household Products – toys and cosmetics

Lead poisoning results when lead builds up in the victim’s body, over years or months. According to the Mayo Clinic, lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Dust and paint containing lead are usually found in buildings constructed before the 1970s.

Detecting Lead Paint And Lead Poisoning Testing

Lead paint can be detected by a simple kit carried by most hardware and paint stores. Of course, you should follow directions and exercise caution around paint that may be lead-based. Another option is to defer to the professionals and contact a company that detects lead paint.

Lead poisoning in humans and animals can be detected through a simple blood test that measures detectable lead levels in the blood stream. However, most people suffering from lead poisoning do not know the cause of their ailments and do not consider lead as the potential cause. Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of lead poisoning can save a person from needlessly suffering and sustaining permanent damage to their body.

The Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Diagnosis of lead-paint poisoning can be difficult because people often look and feel healthy, even with high levels of lead in their blood. It usually takes a long period of exposure and accumulation of lead before strong symptoms manifest. The Mayo Clinic lists the following as indicators of lead poisoning in children:

  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Paleness from anemia
  • Difficulty learning (children & newborns)
  • Slowed growth (newborns)

Different symptoms may manifest in adults with lead poisoning, they include:

  • Pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle weakness, fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Miscarriage, premature birth

Treatment of Lead Poisoning

If someone is demonstrating symptoms of lead poisoning or have been exposed to lead, they should visit a doctor. Various treatments are available depending on the victim and the level of lead they have in their bloodstream. Some of the remedies include:

  • Ingestion of iron, calcium and zinc
  • Bowel irrigation
  • Anti-convulsants
  • Medication to reduce swelling of brain
  • Chelation therapy

After Diagnosis, Report Exposure and Seek Legal Representation

If you or your child has a blood-lead level of 10 mcg/dL or higher, the health care facility is required to report your case to the state. However, if you have any detrimental levels of lead in your blood, call 311 to report to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. If you believe the lead exposure came from a particular building, then a supervisor should be notified immediately.

Lastly, ensure you contact a reputable New York attorney experienced in lead poisoning cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you obtain compensation for any past, present or continuing medical ailments associated with the lead exposure.

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