We all want our kids to be healthy and happy when they are at home. We want them to run, jump, play, and have fun without having to worry about being harmed in any way. So, naturally we do things like set up neighborhood watches, make sure they eat right every day, and do everything else within our power as parents and guardians to be sure that their precious childhood years are spent feeling physically well and strong.Unfortunately, our powers over what we let our children be exposed to are limited to our bodily senses. So, what do we do if there is a silent, undetectable killer right within the walls of our homes that we can’t readily identify?
Children under the age of six are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. This strong, deadly substance is one that we can’t see, taste, or smell, but is among us in many homes across the United States. In fact, according to Parents Magazine, about half of the residences in the country contain some level of lead. This is a startling and scary fact to parents, and many wonder if there is any way at all that they can protect their children and themselves from it. Well, firstly, if you feel you have lead paint in your house you should call HUD (Housing and Urban Development) at (800)-LEAD-FYI, or the National Lead Info Center at (800) 424-5323.
Other than that, doing simple things like keeping your home dust-free and getting a filter for your tap water are good lead prevention practices. Lead is a very slow killer that builds up in the body over time. Sometimes people notice symptoms of exposure in a few months, other times it takes years. The sad part is that by the time we notice that there may be lead where we live, it is many times too late because the damage had already been quietly done. Adults have immune systems that can block off many threats from it, but children can possibly acquire speech problems, lowered IQ, learning disabilities, kidney damage, or even sometimes display out-of-the-ordinary aggressive behavior. The big question is, who is held responsible if any of these horrible effects of lead exposure happen to our loved ones? Landlords usually know whether or not there is a chance of lead being in their units, especially if they have rentals that are in older buildings. In fact, before any tenant signs or renews a lease, property owners have to give you specific literature and paperwork on the subject. You must receive from them an information booklet called Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home, a publication of the Environmental Protection Agency, along with another federally-approved form called the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards. If they don’t give you these, you could possibly be compensated up to three times the amount of any actual damages.
The Personal Injury and Real Estate Litigation Attorneys at Makarem and Associates are here for any legal representation that you may need. We can be easily reached at 310.312.0299, or you can email us at [email protected]