Newark, New Jersey Lead Poisoning
April 8, 2016 | Environmental Litigation
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC served a Notice of Claim against the New Jersey State District Superintendent, the principal of New Jersey Regional Day and the New Jersey Department of Education on behalf of a Newark family alleging their child was exposed to lead and other toxic substances in the drinking water of the Newark Public School system.
Lead is introduced into drinking water when water is pumped through aging supply pipes, causing lead to be released from the pipes and into the faucets of users. Multiple samples taken at New Jersey Regional Day show elevated lead levels higher than the legal limit set forth under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is encouraging residents who have children in the Newark School Districts to have their children tested for lead poisoning. Serious side effects from lead exposure could result in permanent medical damage and exorbitant medical expenses.
Symptoms of lead exposure include:
- Cognitive (mental), emotional or psychological problems
- Skin rashes
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems
- Pregnancy complications
- Breathing problems
- Liver & kidney complications
“Unfortunately we are seeing the damage that lead poisoning can cause on a national level,” says Partner Hunter Shkolnik. “These are not isolated incidents and we are working to bring awareness to the issue, represent families who are suffering from lead exposure and talking to Washington D.C. to create a victim compensation fund.”
WHERE IS THE LEAD COMING FROm?
In New Jersey, the lead is not coming from corroded water supplies, like the lead in Flint, Michigan. Rather, the lead lead in New Jersey is coming from old paint in homes that has not been removed or renovated in many years. While traditionally it was believed that young children were getting lead poisoning from ingesting lead-based paint chips (lead-based paint has a sweetness to it), it is now known that lead can be ingested by breathing in or swallowing paint dust (dust formed by the deterioration of the lead-based paint).
Lead poisoning in children in New Jersey is becoming an unavoidable issue. These shocking results have prompted New Jersey officials to reconsider adding ten million dollars back into the current state budget for the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund. This money would go towards programs to help remove old, lead based paint from old homes in New Jersey and has already been earmarked for lead exposure prevention measures, but the money for this program has been diverted to the general budget for the past few years. Additionally, officials are considering imposing inspections of one- and two-family homes for lead paint, and potentially even rental units with more than three bedrooms, lead abatement projects, and financing the relocations of families whose homes are affected by unsafe levels of lead. These measures are meant to address preventing to exposure of young children to lead sources.