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Child Lead-Poisoning From Deteriorated Lead-Based Paint Hazards in the Home

In 1978, the federal government banned lead from residential paint.  Homes built before 1978 however still contain lead-based paint.  Children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old are especially at risk from the severe harm that can occur from deteriorating lead-based paint in homes built before 1978.  When landlords and managers of these older properties allow newer layers of paint to deteriorate, the chipping, peeling and cracking in these newer layers of paint exposes the older layers of lead-based paint.  Exposed lead-based paint produces lead contaminated dust and creates lead paint chips that are accessible to a young child.  Lead dust is also created by the failure to properly maintain friction surfaces such as doors or windows.  The constant use of doors or windows with older layers of lead-based paint causes deterioration that generates lead dust.

Children are Especially at Risk

Young children typically get exposed to lead contaminated dust and lead paint chips as toddlers while crawling on floors and standing near old window sills.  The lead dust is then ingested by these children through hand-to-mouth activity that is normal for a young child.

As a precautionary measure that can decrease exposure to lead dust, parents with young children in older homes with deteriorated paint should frequently wet wipe floors and surfaces accessible to the young child.

Other sources of childhood lead exposure can occur from lead in imported candy, pottery, toys, home remedies, jewelry and other utensils.  Parents working in certain industries such as automobile shops, construction and welding should be careful not to bring clothes from their workplace into a home with young children.

As a precautionary measure, parents should take their young children to their pediatrician for blood testing at 12 months and 24 months of age to screen for lead poisoning.

Impacts on Brain Development

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics are clear that there is no safe blood lead level for a child. Lead poisoning has been shown to cause significant neurological injuries to the developing brain of a child or fetus.  Children with blood lead levels (BLL) even below 5 micrograms per deciliter have been found to suffer serious neurological harm.  Neurological impacts from child lead poisoning can include loss of IQ points, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), speech and language delays, impulsivity, behavioral problems, aggression, poor muscle coordination, decreased muscle and bone growth and hearing damage.

Health Risks to Adults

Adults can also suffer from lead poisoning.  Brain-related injuries in adults include dizziness, fatigue, irritability, problems with concentrating, weakness, malaise, decreased libido and impotence.  At higher levels lead poisoning in adults can result in significant impacts on the kidneys, heart, reproductive and endocrine system.

Adults are typically exposed to lead either through the workplace or while living through repairs and/or renovations at their home.  Adults (and children) can be exposed to substantial amounts of lead through breathing in lead-contaminated dust that can occur in the workplace and/or the renovated home.  Home repairs of older dwellings (built before 1978) must be undertaken in a way that contains the lead-based paint that is present.



California Lead Poisoning Lawyer Philip Shakhnis has successfully litigated lead poisoning cases that have resulted in consequential and meaningful results for his clients.  At his prior law firms, Mr. Shakhnis personally handled a lead poisoning case that settled for $10,000,000 against the State of California Department of Transportation.  This is one of the largest lead poisoning settlements in the country for an individual child.  Mr. Shakhnis puts together a team of qualified experts to clearly, fully and directly explain the significant impacts of lead poisoning.

  • $1,900,000 Lead Poisoning Settlement

    A family with two little girls resided in a home with deteriorated lead based paint.  The two sisters suffered from elevated blood lead levels ranging from 6.6 mcg/dl to 11.5 mcg/dl.  Each child demonstrated neurocognitive deficits on neuropsychological testing that included attention deficits and other developmental delays.

  • $1,700,000 Lead Poisoning / Slum Housing Settlement

    A family of four with a lead poisoned child resided in slum housing that included deteriorated lead based paint, lack of heat, plumbing leaks and a severe cockroach infestation.  The lead poisoned child had a blood lead level as a ranging from 2 mcg/dl to  12 mcg/dl with neurocognitive deficits that included a severe speech and language delay, attention deficits and behavioral issues.

  • $1,050,000 Lead Poisoning Settlement

    A young child diagnosed with severe form of autism was lead-poisoned from deteriorated lead-based paint and lead dust found on the exterior and interior of the rental home.  Plaintiffs’ experts concluded that the lead poisoning triggered the severe presentation of autism.

  • $1,000,000 Lead Poisoning / Slum Housing Settlement

    A family resided in a rental home in slum conditions that included a deteriorated roof, lack of heat, rainwater leaks, mold, cockroach infestation, rat infestation and lead-based paint hazards.  The youngest child suffered from a blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL and demonstrated developmental delays.

  • $825,000 Wrongful Eviction/Lead Poisoning Settlement

    A family was forced to move out of their rent-controlled apartment of many years after their young child was lead poisoned and the landlords refused to properly address the lead hazards.  The child had an elevated blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL and demonstrated development delays.

  • $630,000 Lead Poisoning/Slum Housing Settlement

    A family resided in slum housing conditions that included deteriorated lead-based paint.  The child development delays that included attention deficits.

(213) 516-4165 or (323) 648-6602