Many people in neighborhoods across Los Angeles live in homes or apartments that have lead paint. Lead paint was very common in the 1950s, and you should check for it if your home or apartment was built before 1978. Lead paint tests can be found in many hardware stores, and can give you a good idea if your residence is impacted.
The real danger of lead paint is the effect that is has upon children, especially children who are toddlers. There is no safe level of lead in the bloodstream, and anything above 5 micrograms/dL can lead to lifelong health problems including lower IQ, attention deficit disorders as well as other cognitive disabilities. This posting discusses some important issues regarding lead poisoning in children, and what you should do to protect yourself and your family.
How common is lead paint poisoning in children?
In California, lead paint poisoning happens much more often than you would expect. Because there are so many apartments and homes built prior to 1978, many families are living in residences where lead is present.
If there is lead paint in your residence, it does not take much effort for children to become exposed to it. For example, let's say your child is teething. In these situations, they are often looking to chew on something to help lessen some of the pain that they may be experiencing.
Many windowsills are about the exact height that makes them appealing to teething children. They may chew on the window frame, which is a very common place for paint flakes and dust to accumulate, putting the child's health at risk. It is extremely important that you clean those areas frequently, and prevent your child from being in the room when this happens.
How an attorney can help if you or your children have been exposed to lead paint
If you have had your child tested and he or she is above the 5 mcg/dl, it is important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible to review your options. Your landlord might be held responsible for the adverse health effects that your child will suffer due to this exposure.
An attorney will be able to advise you of your rights, and aggressively seek compensation from your landlord. You might be afraid of the actions that your landlord may take against you if you file a claim, but know that your attorney will be able to stand up for you. Your landlord has an obligation to notify you if lead is present, and if they fail to take this step, you must pursue action to protect your rights.