If you are living in a New York City Housing Authority building that was built before 1978, you have good reason to be concerned about lead paint in your home. Young children who ingest or inhale lead paint are at risk for devastating injuries, including brain damage, behavioral and cognitive disorders, developmental delays, and nervous system damage.
Recently, NYCHA acknowledged that it failed to conduct required lead-paint inspections throughout its 175,000 apartments. It has been reported that more than 800 New York City children have already tested positive for lead levels of concern, 5 mcg/dL or higher. We expect this number to grow as more parents have their children tested in the wake of this revelation.
In June of 2018, the Federal government accused NYCHA of engaging in misconduct, lies and repeated cover-ups, by failing to comply with lead paint regulations. New York City entered into a consent decree agreeing to spend an additional 1 billion dollars over the next 4 years and 200 million per year after that to remediate the unsanitary and unsafe conditions NYCHA tenants have lived with for too long. Unfortunately, this funding cannot undo the damage that has already been done to NYC children with elevated lead levels in their blood.
If you suspect that your child has been exposed to lead paint, we urge you to get your child’s blood tested. The CDC has recommendations for limiting lead exposure, and you can find them here: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/acclpp/lead_levels_in_children_fact_sheet.pdf.
If your child has been diagnosed with elevated lead levels, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights. There are strict time constraints for bringing claims against NYCHA.