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Lead poisoning majorly impacts pregnancy

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Most families understand the risks lead poisoning has on their children – often leading to significant brain and nervous system damage. However, lead poisoning can impact your unborn child if the mother is exposed to lead during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman ingests lead through breathing or swallowing, it will pass from the mother to the baby – impacting both people’s health including: risk of miscarriage, baby is born prematurely or too small, hurts the baby’s brain, kidneys and nervous system, and cause future learn or behavior problems. It’s incredibly important for pregnant women to know what factors puts them at risk for lead poisoning and what they can do about it. What puts me at risk? According to the National Capital Poison Center, pregnant women should be tested for lead if they have any of these risk factors: Recent arrival to the U.S. from a country with a lot of environmental lead Living near a source of lead, for example lead mines or battery recycling plants Working in a lead industry or living with someone who does Having a lead-based hobby, for example stained glass Using lead-based pottery for food or drinks Using lead-based cosmetics, such as imported kohl or sarma Using spices, herbs, or medicines that could be contaminated with lead Repairing or renovating a home with lead paint Living in a home with lead in the water pipes Having a history of lead poisoning; lead is stored in bone for decades and is released into the blood during pregnancy Living with someone with a high lead level Even pregnant women with only one risk factor can have lead poisoning, so every pregnant women should check with a health care professional about lead risks and if blood testing is needed.

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High-Risk Toddlers In State Program Missed Lead Test, Group Says

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Friday, March 9, 2018. Nearly three-fourths of California toddlers enrolled in a state-run low-income insurance program did not have their blood tested for lead, according to a recent analysis by health organization. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that conducts research and education related to health issues, studied state records between 2012 and 2016, and determined children enrolled in the Medi-Cal program did not receive the required tests. California law requires testing for lead at ages 1 and 24 months because the highly potent toxin can cause permanent damage in children. This includes neurological, physical and physiological harm in your child such as IQ deficiency, ADHD, aggression, language delay, delayed growth and a lifetime of problems. Low-income children also are at the highest risk for exposure to lead. Although anyone can be affected, those from lower-income families are more likely to live in older rental apartments or houses with deteriorated lead-based paint built prior to 1978. Even microscopic particles of lead dust can be dangerous when ingested by a small child. How Widespread Is The Problem? The data obtained by EWG last month show that about 529,000 toddlers in Medi-Cal during a four-year period did not receive required lead tests. That means about only 28 percent of children in the program were tested from 2012-2016. Testing is essential to find the children who have been exposed and protect against further exposure. If you believe your child missed a lead test and was possibly exposed to lead, talking with an experienced attorney can help you determine your legal options.

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How lead poisoning can affect your child

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Thursday, February 8, 2018. Lead poisoning is the most studied environmental health threat in history. Elevated blood lead levels in children can cause permanent neurological, physiological and physiological harm in your child including loss of IQ, ADHD, aggression, juvenile delinquency, loss of executive function (the ability to multi-task), language delay, delayed puberty and delayed growth. Lead poisoning is typically caused by deteriorated lead-based paint in rental housing built prior to 1978. Microscopic particles of lead dust and small paint chips can be ingested by a toddler by playing on the floor though normal hand-to-mouth activity. Any blood lead level above 3 mcg/dL is dangerous and can cause permanent, irreversible harm to your child. What you can do to protect your children and your family Lead poisoning from exposure to lead-based paint is 100 percent avoidable. The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires all landlords to provide prospective tenants with a Lead Warning Statement and EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.”The Lead Warning Statement will inform you whether the landlord has actual knowledge of lead-based paint at the property. The 1992 Act also requires every landlord to provide you with any reports she or he may have regarding any lead hazards at the property. Importantly, the 1992 Act does NOT require landlords to test for lead-based paint. So, when you rent or buy an apartment or home, make sure you ask your landlord whether the property has ever been tested for lead-based paint. If you see peeling paint, insist that your landlord repair the paint using a lead certified contractor. Keep an eye out for peeling paint and be wary of old double-hung windows and doors that can create paint dust through wear and tear and friction. If you have any questions, please call.

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Know the signs of potential lead poisoning in your children

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Friday, February 2, 2018. With the real estate market so competitive, many people who rent in and around Beverly Hills may simply feel thankful to find a rental unit they can afford. Often, older buildings end up divided into rental units, which may have had lead paint at some point. Many times, landlords choose to simply cover up lead paint with newer, lead-free paint instead of having the lead carefully removed. Some landlords won’t even do that. You could move into a home with paint peeling off of certain areas. Maybe they painted the visible areas with fresh paint, but not the inside of your cupboards and closets. Even if you don’t notice, your children might while exploring the space or playing hide and seek. You need to familiarize yourself with the signs of potential lead poisoning if you rent a space in any building from before 1978. After all, the effects of lead poisoning can last a lifetime for your children. The signs of lead poisoning aren’t always obvious at first Children under the age of 6 are the most vulnerable to potential lead poisoning. Your children may seem mostly healthy but could still have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies. By the time symptoms become obvious, your child’s health and future are likely in danger. Prenatal exposure (meaning your unborn baby was exposed because you were) include premature birth, low birth weight and slow weight gain. If your baby is born early and has trouble gaining weight, a lead test is a good idea. In older children, symptoms can include development delays, trouble learning, changes in mood such as increased irritability, weight loss and loss of appetite, vomiting or abdominal pain, constipation, hearing loss, seizures and chronic fatigue. Some children also develop pica, which is the habit of eating items that are not food. If your child displays these symptoms, ask your doctor about a lead test as soon as you can. Know the ways your children end up exposed There are several ways that your children could end up accumulating too much lead in their little bodies. One of them is by actively peeling off paint from the walls, cabinets or other spaces in your home. Some children may eat the paint they peel off, resulting in dangerous levels of exposure. Even if they just chip off the paint, inhaling the dust it produces can also result in excessive lead exposure. If there is lead paint outside of your unit, perhaps in the basement near the furnace, the dust from old lead paint could end up circulating throughout your unit, putting your family at risk. Old pipes and poor water quality can also combine to create dangerous levels of lead in your water. If you suspect older pipes in your rental, having your water tested could be of critical importance to your children’s overall health and development.

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Landlord maintenance failures can lead to mold and health issues

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Monday, January 29, 2018. California law does its best to protect both landlords and tenants. For example, landlords can evict, retain security deposits or file civil suits in response to substantial damages to their units caused by tenants. On the other hand, however, landlords must also maintain clean and safe spaces for their tenants. That includes ensuring adequate waterproofing and weather protection of the roof and exterior walls, as well as windows and doors. All too often, landlords will put off critical repairs and maintenance to save themselves a little money. That can cause a host of issues for tenants, ranging from damages to their property to serious health issues or injuries. Waterproofing, roof repairs and leaks can all be expensive to fix, but failing to do so could end up causing far more damage and cost over time. Water leaks can result in mold growth For most molds, the perfect conditions are warm, wet and dark. The underside of a roof, the inside of a sink cabinet or building space below ground level can all see rapid mold growth in the right circumstances. Some molds are worse than others, with black mold, in particular, proving to be hard to eradicate and associated with a host of human health issues. As soon as you inform your landlord of leaking water from your roof, ceiling, windows, doors or pipes, he or she should take steps to address this issue. Failing to do so could result in worse damage over time, as well as the development of a mold issue that leaves you unable to live in the space safely. Mold should be addressed as soon as possible by professionals to ensure it does not come back. Black mold poisoning is a serious issue for tenants Toxic black mold, also called Stachybotrys chartarum, can quickly build up in your carpets, walls, ceiling or flooring and spread throughout your space. They can then give off spores and mycotoxins that cause serious health issues in humans and house pets. The most common symptoms of black mold exposure are respiratory. It can cause persistent coughing and sneezing, red, irritated eyes, rashes, fatigue and headaches. Severe cases can cause vomiting and bleeding in the lungs, throat and nose. A simple leak can soon lead to a home that is no longer inhabitable. Worse, it can result in massive medical bills, especially if there is someone in your home with mold allergies, asthma or a compromised immune system. Children and the elderly are also more vulnerable than healthy adults. If your landlord refused to address a leak leading to mold development, it may be time to consider taking legal action against your landlord.

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Improper maintenance could lead to ceiling collapses and injuries

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Renting properties can be a lucrative source of income. However, basic requirements such as maintenance, repairs, lawn care and other necessities can cut into the profit margin for landlords. Some landlords decide to just stop performing repairs or maintenance. For these slum lords, they are happy enough to take the rent of hard-working people and families without providing a safe and clean space. Many times, the issues associated with poor landlord maintenance result in annoyances and loss of quality of life. Issues like drafts, leaks and non-functioning windows or appliances can cause issues, but some people may choose to remain in a space instead of incurring the expenses associated with moving. Sadly, maintenance failures can lead to more serious issues. In cases of weak structures and water leaks, the potential for a ceiling collapse, especially after heavy rain, is a very real risk. Every building requires basic maintenance In order for a structure to remain safe, functional and secure, it requires basic repairs and regular inspections. A minor leak in the roof, for example, could cost only a few hundred dollars to properly fix. Failing to address it, however, can have catastrophic consequences. A landlord who decides to ignore a leak or to simply apply a mediocre patch that doesn’t resolve the root issue could face more serious issues later. Over time, buildings settle. Foundations crack, walls and floors become uneven and leaks can often result. Similarly, shingles and even metal roofing age over time. Weather can also play a factor in the deterioration of the systems, like roofing, that keep your apartment building safe and structurally sound. Good landlords address these issues as they arise to protect their investment and their tenants. Slum lords, however, will wait until they have no choice but to make repairs. Ceiling collapses can cost tenants thousands of dollars When a roof or ceiling suddenly fails, the outcome can prove devastating for the tenants of the unit. Their furniture and other possessions may end up destroyed by the collapse. The unit will become unlivable until all debris gets removed and the structure gets repaired properly. In a best-case scenario, the tenant will need to replace many possessions and secure an alternative place to live until the unit is livable again. Sometimes, however, people are at home in the unit when a ceiling collapses. The result could be severe injuries, such as concussions, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or even death. Children, the infirm, the elderly and even pets could end up crushed or severely hurt from a collapsed ceiling as a result of inadequate maintenance. Landlords have a legal obligation to their tenants to provide a safe space in return for rental fees. If a landlord’s refusal to maintain a property results in injuries, tenants should look into holding them legally responsible.

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How To Spot A Slumlord From A Mile Away

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Friday, January 12, 2018. Thankfully, most landlords care about the condition of their properties and make good faith efforts to make repairs, fix water leaks and control vermin such as cockroaches, bed bugs, rats and mice. However, there are many landlords who just don’t care. They buy old beat-up buildings not to fix them, but to suck as much cash as they can out of their tenants while ignoring much needed repairs. That’s the definition of a slumlord – a landlord who values money over the health and safety of the families who live in their buildings.  With this sharp dose of reality in mind, it’s important to have a clear idea of how to spot a slumlord. Look for these signs and stay away! 1. The exterior of the property is in poor condition. Your informal inspection of any building should start with the exterior of the property. Look for peeling paint, broken windows, torn screens, missing vent screens, broken or degraded stucco and exterior mold. These are obvious signs of neglect. If a landlord is ignoring repairs they can plainly see simply by walking around the outside of their building, you know you’ll have troubles on the inside. 2. Common areas are dirty and neglected. Over and over we walk into buildings to meet with our clients and find walkways, hallways and laundry rooms all but falling apart. Stained carpeting, exposed wiring and water leaks are all bad signs. 3. The landlord promises to make repairs after you sign the lease but before you move in. We don’t like this one bit. Time after time, slumlords say, “yeah, we’ll fix that before you move in.” But when you show up with your kids, boxes, clothes and furniture, your apartment looks exactly the same. That’s not good. First, you have every right to a safe and habitable rental home. If you see peeling paint, water leaks or other defects, point them out and make a note on your lease that these items will be fixed before you move in. Get it in writing! The law in California protects you from the actions of selfish, money-hungry landlords. However, tenants cannot put their head in the sand and hope everything is going to be OK. Speak up and speak out. When you make a deal with a new landlord, put it in writing. When you ask for repairs, do it in writing and keep a copy of your note or letter! If the landlord won’t cooperate, remind them – in writing – that you’ve been asking for his or her help for weeks and if they won’t help, you will have no choice but to call the local health and housing department. If a slumlord has taken advantage of you, don’t hesitate to contact us so you can learn more about your legal rights and the action you can take to improve your situation in the future.

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Are we underestimating the impact of toxic exposure?

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. During the last 30 years, scientists have been extensively studying the effects of toxins in terms of causing disease and death. What they have found may change our entire view of what is an acceptable amount of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants. These studies have produced results that indicate that low-level exposure actually has a greater risk for developing an illness or dying. This means that even minimal exposure to lead has the potential to cause some very serious side effects. Many studies have shown that lead exposure results in lower intelligent quotient (IQ) levels. What many of these studies do not show is that low-level exposure often accounts for the greatest rate of change in IQ levels. At higher levels, the rate of change in IQ levels decreases. Even though people have taken steps all across the country to decrease blood lead levels, lead exposure still contributes to a major loss in IQ points every year. This study indicates that agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), need to take steps to bring lead exposure levels down to zero. This means that if you live in an apartment near Union Elementary, your children might be at risk of developmental consequences as a result of lead exposure. As a renter, you have certain rights and your landlord has certain obligations. For instance, you have the right to live in a safe apartment that is free from dangerous substances that might cause harm. Your landlord has an obligation to provide you with a safe and livable environment. If there is lead present in the paint in your apartment, in the common areas of the building, or on any equipment on the property that you or your children might come into contact with, then you have the right to complain. You can file with a local housing advocate as a first step toward forcing your landlord to make the necessary changes that will make your apartment safe. If your child is exhibiting symptoms such as developmental delays or a low IQ score as a result of lead exposure, you might be able to take legal action. Keep in mind that your home may not be the only place where lead is present. It might also be in the paint at your child’s school, on playground equipment or any number of places.

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Lead Paint Makers Must Pay To Clean Up Homes, Court Rules

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. In what many are calling a victory for California consumers, a state appeals court has ruled that lead paint companies are responsible for the cost of cleaning up homes containing the dangerous toxin. The ruling is the latest round in a lawsuit involving three companies — ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams. Attorneys for several cities and counties in California that sued argued that the companies’ aggressive marketing of lead paint, which they knew was highly toxic to young children, has created a public nuisance that threatens the health of California’s children to this day. Since the 1950s or even earlier, paint companies have known the risks, but they continued to market their potentially deadly products containing lead. Even though lead paint use in homes was banned in 1978, many houses in Los Angeles and surrounding areas of California still contain lead paint on interior walls. Thousands of children in low-income families in Los Angeles have elevated levels of lead in their blood, tests show. Lead paint becomes more dangerous as it ages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the degradation of lead paint results in contaminated dust and soil. This is a leading cause of lead exposure for kids living in older homes. The ruling holds the companies responsible for funding the investigation and removal of lead paint from homes in seven California counties and three cities. Estimates put the total at nearly 1.6 million homes. “Once again, the courts have made it clear that paint companies are not going to get away with poisoning children,” said Dennis Herrera, city attorney of San Francisco, in a statement regarding the decision from the 6th District Court of Appeal. If you have questions about whether you and your family may be eligible for a claim due to lead exposure, an experienced attorney can help.

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Harm caused by lead poisoning is often irreversible

On behalf of Riley Law Group PC posted on Saturday, December 9, 2017. If you have a child who ingested lead, you may notice symptoms of lead poisoning. Sometimes, it can take many years before these signs become noticeable. While some places, like Western Youth Services, can provide therapies your child needs, in reality, the effects of lead poisoning are irreversible. This does not mean you should give up, but it does mean that you and your child might have a long road ahead to develop coping mechanisms that will allow him or her to lead a productive and fulfilling life. These therapies often come with a large price tag that make them difficult to afford. But, if your child was exposed to lead because of your South Los Angeles landlord’s failure to provide a safe living environment, then you might be able to file a claim for damages. In other words, you should fight for the treatment your child needs as a result of lead poisoning. It will be important to learn more about the symptoms and treatment of lead poisoning. Symptoms Some of the most common symptoms of lead poisoning include abdominal pain and cramps, aggressive behavior, headaches, sleep problems and irritability. Your child might also display other signs such as fatigue, high blood pressure and even kidney dysfunction. Intellectual disabilities Since a child’s brain is not fully developed, exposure to lead can cause development issues. For example, lead poisoning can cause a child to have a low Intelligence Quotient (IQ), perform poorly at school or suffer from short- and long-term learning problems. You may also notice that your child has a hearing problem, is not growing properly or is expressing behavioral issues. Treatment The first thing you should do if you suspect lead poisoning is to locate and remove all lead sources that might have caused the problem. If your child’s exposure is severe enough, your doctor might recommend chelation therapy. This procedure will cause the lead to bind together and then the body will expel it through urination. Activated charcoal might be an option for less severe cases. It will cause the lead in the gastrointestinal tract to bind and leave through defecation. Unfortunately, if the exposure was long-term or chronic, some of the physical and mental effects may be permanent. If your child is suffering from lead poisoning, it is vital to remember that you have options. You can pursue a claim against your landlord for not providing safe living conditions and fight for the compensation your child deserves.

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