LEAD PAINT: The Hidden Threat to America’s Cities

September 19th, 2014

In 2013, the Center for Disease Control estimated that over 500,000 American children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old faced the severe medical dangers associated with lead poisoning. Despite the fact that federal law banned the use of lead-based paints in 1978, the lingering effects of this underrepresented health crisis are still prevalent today in many of America’s inner city neighborhoods.

Knowing the facts about lead paint can help you keep your children and loved ones safe from this public health hazard.

Research released by Colombia University’s David Rosner and CUNY’s Gerald Markowitz in their 2013 book Lead Wars estimates that some 30 million American homes still contain toxic lead-based paint. Homes built prior to 1978 pose the highest risk of containing lead paint. But even newer homes could contain undercoats of lead-based paint that remain a health threat years or even decades after their installation.

Children can become exposed to unsafe levels of lead after walls containing lead-based paint are damaged through normal wear and tear, renovation, leaks, sanding, and even drilling or nailing.

Possible signs of lead poisoning in children are:

  • Tiredness or loss of energy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability or crankiness
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Reduced attention span
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Aches or pains in stomach

Before you begin any type of home renovation, be sure to contact your landlord, real estate agent or contractor to ensure that you take the necessary precautions. Even as walls containing lead-based paint are being removed, clouds of lead flakes can remain behind on floors, carpets, or window sills. In fact, Rosner and Markowitz’s maintain that many children are often exposed to lead poisoning during the removal process itself.

One study conducted in the 1990s by an affiliate research institution of Johns Hopkins University found that Baltimore city had the highest lead poisoning rates for children in the country. Baltimore residents should consult their medical professional as well as the Center for Disease Control’s Lead Prevention Program for advice and steps to take.

If you feel you or your child has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead due to negligence or poor building upkeep, contact The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). The Yost Legal Group is experienced in aggressively litigating lead paint exposure claims.

The Yost Legal Group has successfully protected the rights of many families exposed to this serious health risk. If you feel you are at risk, don’t hesitate to call today for a free consultation.