Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major public health problem, especially in old urban centers where most homes were built before 1978. In New York State, there is a lack of well-publicized coordinated effort to rid the housing stock of dangerous leaded paint hazards in cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Past efforts in these cities to operate publicly-funded programs to bring about remediation through the use of public grant money have been largely unsuccessful to date, and stories of misuse and mismanagement of “lead paint” funds plagued Buffalo in early years. Legislation aimed at making property owners more accountable for ridding their properties of lead hazards continues to be bogged down in Albany.
And so many children in Western New York continue to be at risk for lead poisoning, though this is an entirely preventable public health problem and could be prevented if only enough attention, community resources and money would be directed towards the eradication of lead-based paint from our cities’ older housing stock.
Higher childhood blood lead levels are associated with older, poorly-maintained rental housing. Our minority populations are disproportionately impacted by the problem. Lead-based paint in rental housing is the major remaining source of lead exposure and is responsible for most cases of childhood lead poisoning today. These additional facts about the serious impact of childhood lead poisoning are widely recognized.
- Even low levels of lead in young children can result in reduced intelligence and attention span, learning disabilities, hearing impairment and behavior problems.
- A tiny amount of lead concentrated in just one chip of paint can result in serious poisoning and even irreversible developmental damage in children under the age of six.
- Children are poisoned by simple hand-to-mouth contact with leaded dust that exists in association with degraded lead-based paint in their households.
- Childhood lead poisoning causes enormous societal costs, including medical costs and special education costs.
If you think that your child is lead poisoned and they are under the age of 21 years, talk to a lawyer today. Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford has the most experience in childhood lead poisoning cases in Western New York, and we can help obtain a more secure future for your child with special needs.