Lead paint tragic legacy for Detroit’s children
Recently, the Detroit Free Press ran a front-page article warning that lead poisoning is still a very serious problem for children in Detroit
According to data obtained by Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion, more than half (58%) of Detroit students have some history of lead-poisoning. The data also links lead poisoning to low MEAP test scores.
The study supports what many have argued for years: lead poisoning causes permanent brain damage that affects memory, reading comprehension and the ability to concentrate.
Tragically, many of Detroit’s children reside in older homes that still contain the lead-based paint. Children often become poisoned after ingesting lead paint dust as well as eating lead paint chips or flakes.
In 2005, the Center for Disease Control issued a statement that there is no safe level of lead for children, and noted, “Exposure to lead in young children damages developing brains—and its effects are permanent, so once a child has high levels, the harm is done.”
While the Detroit statistics are alarming, lead poisoning can be a problem for anyone residing in a home built before 1977, the year lead-based paint were banned. Children under six are at greatest risk, followed by pregnant women and their babies.
The US legislature enacted a law requiring landlords to disclose the presence of lead and to distribute the lead hazard information pamphlet. Failure to disclose this information may result in civil liability.
If you are living in a rental home or apartment and have a child diagnosed with lead poisoning, you should contact an attorney to learn your legal rights. Call us for a free consultation.
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