One of the worst types of toxic exposure for young children is lead, which is why it is no longer used in paint. Since 1997, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began testing lead blood levels in children under six years old. The levels have continued to drop since the testing protocol began. But those children that do have elevated levels of lead in their blood face incredibly serious health concerns. Even low levels of lead exposure can decrease young children’s IQs, their academic progress, and their ability to pay close attention. Once early lead exposure has occurred, there is no fix. The effects of lead poisoning in young children is permanent.
If your child has been exposed to lead and has suffered serious health consequences as a result, you may be able to file an unsafe premises or hazardous environment personal injury claim. Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
1997 Lead Testing
When the CDC began testing lead blood levels in 1997, health experts had come to the realization that lead poisoning was especially damaging to children under 72 months (six years). Five or more μg/dL is the cutoff for an elevated lead blood level. Today, children with levels this high or higher are within the 97.5th percentile (the top 2.5%) of children in terms of lead blood levels. According to the CDC, 2,497 children of 37,432 tested in New York City had elevated lead blood levels. That equates to a total of 6.8 percent of children six years or younger, meaning that in comparison to the national level of 2.5%, New York City has a long way to go before all children can expect to grow up in healthy, lead-free environment.
Lead Based Paints the Main Cause of Lead Poisoning
Although lead based paint was banned from New York City in 1960, as reported by the NYC Housing Preservation and Development, it is still the most common way by which children are exposed to lead. As of 2004, New York City began requiring all landlords to inspect their properties for lead based paint and to remove it from all households containing children 6 years old or younger, as per the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004. Any housing unit that was constructed before 1960 must be inspected and cleared of lead paint by trained crews. In addition to lead based paint, children can also be exposed to lead from the air, groundsoil, and water. Adults most at risk are those who work with batteries, in construction or home remodeling, and in auto body shops, according to the Mayo Clinic.