Providence, Rhode Island Lead Poisoning
The lead poisoning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP are bringing their decades of experience to help the residents of Providence, Rhode Island, fight the childhood lead poisoning epidemic in their city. Lead is a toxic metal that has been used throughout history in a variety of consumer goods. When lead is ingested, it enters the bloodstream and interferes with the body’s production of hemoglobin, causing anemia. The blood carries the lead throughout the body, inhibiting the liver’s ability to produce proteins, damaging kidneys, and interrupting the development of the brain, causing long term and latent cognitive deficits. Lead cannot be broken down, and often ends up being stored in growing bones, only to be released years later and causing further damage.
Lead is especially hazardous to young children under the age of six. Their growing bodies absorb lead more quickly than adults do, and their brains are developing the circuits needed to learn critical skills for success as an adult. That is why it is essential to prevent a child from being exposed to lead in the first place.
Most children are exposed to lead from old lead based paint in older housing. Lead based paint was banned for residential use throughout the United States in 1978, but layers continue to exist in homes where it has not been removed. As paint deteriorates, the older layers come off in flakes with the newer layers and pose a hazard to young children crawling and playing on the floor. Friction surfaces such as windows and door jambs create lead based paint dust, which mixes with ordinary household dust and can easily get on the hands of young children.
Because lead exists in perpetuity, any layer of lead based paint will remain a hazard unless and until it is safely removed by an EPA certified remediation team. Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that a home is lead safe for their tenants and children. However, landlords in poorer areas often choose to simply paint over any hazards, rather than spend the money required to remove the lead based paint outright. As a result, nearly 30,000 homes in Rhode Island continue to pose a high risk for children today. In Providence alone, 12.74% of children tested for elevated blood lead levels above 5 mcg/dL.
If you or your child has been exposed to peeling, flaking, or chipping lead based paint, it is important to get a blood lead test as soon as possible. An elevated blood lead level can indicate that a child has been seriously and permanently harmed, and may entitle you to compensation. The experienced lead poisoning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP have won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of lead poisoned children over 30 years. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to see if you have a case.