Levy Konigsberg, a national leader in lead poisoning lawsuits, is actively helping families in Philadelphia seek justice and compensation for lead poisoned children. Children may be exposed to lead from a variety of sources, such as a toy or tainted water. However, by far the most common source of lead exposure is chipping, peeling, and defective lead based paint in older housing. Although childhood lead poisoning is a national problem, it is particularly widespread in the City of Philadelphia. That is because Philadelphia, one of the oldest cities in the nation, also has some of the oldest housing in the nation. According to the Census’ 2011 American Housing Survey for Philadelphia, nearly 80% of all housing in the city was built before 1978—the year that lead based paint was banned for residential use across the United States. This means that nearly 80% of residents in the City of Philadelphia live in a house that potentially contains lead-based paint.

Given the age of housing in Philadelphia (the median year built for the city’s housing is 1959), it is no small wonder that the city has some of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning. According to a 2010 Pennsylvania Department of Health report, more than 10% of Philadelphia’s children under the age of seven who were tested for lead had elevated blood lead levels. Although the average blood lead level for those tested has declined over the years, the levels are still high enough to cause cognitive damage, behavior problems, and other health issues.

The effects of childhood lead poisoning are permanent. Once a child is lead poisoned, all that can be done is to give the child the resources he or she needs to cope with the devastating effects. Children who were lead poisoned often experience symptoms similar to ADHD, have lower IQ’s than their peers, and struggle academically and professionally when they get older. The only way to prevent the problems associated with lead poisoning is to prevent childhood lead exposure in the first place.

The City of Philadelphia is fighting back with regulations to help make the city’s old housing lead safe. Under the Philadelphia Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law, landlords must have older homes inspected and certified lead safe before any tenants with children under the age of six move in. The inspection requires looking for any chipping, peeling, or defective paint, as well as taking dust wipes for analysis to ensure that no lead based paint dust exists in the home. This inspection must be repeated every two years, as long as a child under the age of six continues to reside in the home. Finally, a landlord must promptly fix any chipping, peeling, or defective paint reported by a tenant, or risk losing certification.

A landlord who fails in his responsibilities may lose his rental license, face fines, and be liable for any harm that results from a child exposed to lead on his property. If your child has been exposed to lead, it is important to contact an experienced lead poisoning attorney to help your child get the financial resources he or she needs to overcome the devastating effects of lead poisoning. The lead poisoning law firm of Levy Konigsberg has over 25 years of lead poisoning litigation experience and has won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of lead poisoned children. We are actively helping families in Philadelphia obtain financial compensation for childhood lead poisoning.

Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to see if you have a case by filling out the website form or by calling (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry


How Many Children in Philadelphia Were Exposed to Toxic Lead?

Philadelphia has a staggering number of children who have been found to have dangerously high levels of lead in the bloodstream. In 2018, 7.6 percent of the tested children, 2,881, tested at 4 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) or higher, but this may be a gross underestimate, as only 30 percent of children were tested. This elevated level of lead in the blood is extremely dangerous for the normal development of babies and children.
Where Were Children Exposed to Lead in Philadelphia?
Children are exposed to lead by water in older water pipes, peeling lead paint, and contaminated soil. An investigation found that as many as one in every five children in low-income areas of the city may suffer from lead poisoning. About two-thirds of these children live in rented homes. While lead paint has been outlawed since 1978, many older homes in poorer neighborhoods were built long before the ban, and the existing lead paint has not been removed. The aging lead paint peels and flakes, releasing dust into the indoor air.
Does Lead Exposure During Pregnancy Damage the Baby?
Mothers who are exposed to toxic lead have an increased risk of miscarriage, or give birth to a child to early, with lower birth weight. The baby may have brain damage, kidney damage, or neurological damage, followed by learning impairments, lower IQ, and behavior issues.
How Can You Seek Justice if Your Child Was Lead-Poisoned in Philadelphia?
If your child was tested for lead poisoning and had elevated levels of lead in the blood, you need help from an attorney. Your child may suffer permanent impairments and will require lifelong support – at high cost. A landlord that rented a property that had unsafe levels of lead should be held accountable for the impact on your child’s future. Talk to a lead poisoning lawyer immediately if your child was tested and elevated blood lead levels are confirmed.
What is the Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law in Philadelphia?
In 2012, in reaction to public outcry, the Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law was passed. This law required landlords to ensure any property rented to families with children aged 6 and younger is free from toxic lead levels. Any home built before 1978, under this law, must be certified that the property is lead-safe or lead-free. The tenant must be provided with a copy of the certificate, and the Department of Public Health must be provided with a signed copy. Many landlords, even today, ignore this law, and do nothing to ensure their properties are safe, without facing legal consequences.
What are the Symptoms of Lead Exposure on Young Children?
No amount of lead is safe or healthy. However, when a baby or child six years old or younger is continually exposed to lead in the home air in dust, when crawling, placing items from the floor in their mouths, or eating flaking paint, can suffer permanent damage. The symptoms include:

  • Hearing impairments
  • Speech impairments
  • Behavioral issues
  • Learning disorders
  • Slowed growth
  • Weakness
  • Brain damage
  • Nervous system damage
  • Lower IQ
  • Developmental and cognitive problems
How Many Homes in Philadelphia Have Lead-Based Paint?
It is estimated that 95 percent of the homes in Philadelphia contain lead-based paint. When a new layer of paint degrades or is chipped, the underlying layers of lead paint are exposed, releasing lead dust into the air. Babies and young children exposed to high levels of lead can suffer permanent damage, and may never lead a normal, happy life, have the capacity to gain a higher education or earn a good living. These children must be compensated for the lifelong damage if a landlord failed to ensure the property was safe.

Contact Levy Konigsberg to speak with one of our lead poisoning litigation team today by calling us at (800) 315-3806 or fill out our online form for help. No legal fees unless we win for you.

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