On March 12th, the New York Times highlighted the dilemma of lead paint in residences and other buildings, and the dangers they pose to everyone, including babies and women who are pregnant. Anyone who has ever rented an apartment in an older building has likely signed a lead paint disclosure form stating that their apartment may contain lead paint. While lead-based paint can pose a danger to anyone, women who are pregnant or couples with children are often more nervous about signing this form and potentially exposing themselves and their children to lead, potentially developing brain and other injuries. So what are the alternatives?
Health Issues Associated With Lead Exposure
In the past, lead was used to produce paint used in homes and other buildings. It is especially dangerous to children because they absorb more of it as they are growing, and both their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects. Babies, in particular, are often at risk, as they sometimes touch painted walls and then put their hands in their mouths. They are also at risk before they are born, as a pregnant woman’s exposure can result in exposure to her developing baby. Children in general are also at risk if they inhale lead dust from lead-based paint. This is especially of concern if a building with lead-based paint is undergoing renovations.
The health effects of exposing children to lead are frightening, and include slowed growth, behavior and learning problems, hyperactivity, lower IQ, hearing problems, and anemia. Sometimes it can even lead to seizures, coma, and/or death. To date, lead paint is still the most common source of exposure for U.S. children.
Laws Regulating Lead In Paint
Although lead as a pollutant is regulated by many laws, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (Title X) specifically addresses lead-based paint products in residential buildings. The Act declares that, prior to 1980, American housing stock contained more than 3,000,000 tons of lead in (the form of) lead-based paint, and that homes built before 1950 contained substantial amounts of lead-based paint. One of the main purposes of the law was to develop a national strategy to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in all housing.
If you are concerned that you live in an apartment with lead-based paint, it is important to specifically look for signs of flaking, peeling, or chipping, as they can pose an immediate issue to children. In addition, many cities require landlords to inspect apartments each year if children under the age of six live there. And if your landlord is re-painting, it is important that you insist on then relying on a painter certified in lead paint remediation. Be especially careful if you are painting a nursery, as prepping a room that was previously painted with lead-based paint before re-painting can serve as a serious form of exposure for expecting mothers.
Dana and Dana: Personal Injury Attorneys in Providence, Rhode Island
The personal injury attorneys at Dana and Dana have decades of combined experience helping victims of personal injuries—including toxic lead exposure–recover compensation for their injuries. After suffering something as serious as a brain injury, for example, our clients are understandably concerned about the costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as the costs of a potentially having a permanent disability. A lawsuit handled by Dana and Dana can help our clients regain the financial stability they need to live a comfortable life. And with our no cost guarantee, you will not pay anything unless we are able to recover compensation for you. Contact us today so that we can get starting helping you.