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Despite Lead Poisoning Law Philadelphia Kids Are Still Getting Sick

Posted in Lead Paint Poisoning on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Children in Philadelphia suffer from lead poisoning at an alarming rate. The issue prompted the city council to pass a lead remediation law. The law is the most protective childhood lead poisoning law to date in the United States, but so far, it has not been enough.

If your child has been exposed to lead paint in your rental home or apartment and you believe they are suffering from lead poisoning, it is time to reach out to the Philadelphia lead paint attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. We can provide aggressive representation while securing the compensation your family deserves.

The problem’s details

For centuries, people have known lead is a neurotoxin and environmental hazard, but in the United States, the lead did not get banned for residential use until 1978. Nearly 90% of Philadelphia’s housing was built before 1978.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), no level of lead is safe. This new lead remediation law strives to reduce childhood lead poisoning by increasing primary and secondary prevention measures, but not enough is being done in Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods.

After the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan in 2016 (3% of the city’s children were poisoned during a water source conversion), Philadelphia found 10% to 23% of the children tested were poisoned. Recent state investigations exposed dangerous levels of lead in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

Lead-level testing has been patchy, and the data fragment. In Pennsylvania, 19% of children under seven years old were tested in 2018, and 8,822 had been poisoned. In Philadelphia, only half the children qualifying for medical assistance had been thoroughly tested by 2018 which is a requirement of federal law.

According to the Childhood Lead Surveillance 2018 report, more than 7% (2,881) of Philadelphia’s under-seven-year-old children had high levels of lead in their blood. One in five children had been poisoned in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, mostly inhabited by mostly black, Latinx, and migrant families.

Of the approximately 2,000 babies poisoned each year, African American and Hispanic babies are poisoned at a rate 4.5 and 1.4 times higher than white babies. The culprit of most of these poisonings is lead-based paint in older homes, and most children (62%) are poisoned in rental properties.

Lead poisoning can be prevented, but once exposed and poisoned, the ramifications are long-term. Some of the harmful effects that arise from poisoning include:

  • Brain and nervous system damage – causing seizures, comas, and death
  • Hearing and speech problems
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Underperformance in school and behavioral issues

When should I contact a lawyer?

There are requirements in place to ensure landlords inform tenants of the presence of any known lead paint or other hazards in their rental properties. They are also responsible for eliminating risks of lead exposure (both inside and on the exterior of the property) due to peeling, flaking, or chipping paint.

If you believe your children have been exposed or are in danger of exposure to lead because of the negligence of your landlord, you should contact the Philadelphia lead poisoning attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.