A New Law Would Provide Much Needed Protection for Syracuse Lead Poisoning Victims

One of the most dangerous things about lead poisoning is that the consequences often last a lifetime. Children who are exposed to high levels of lead in their homes often suffer cognitive issues that delay their development and leave them with permanent disabilities.

While Flint, Michigan has drawn national attention to the issue of lead exposure, many people do not realize that Syracuse is one of the most deeply lead-afflicted communities in the United States. More than 600 children in Syracuse — a troubling 10% of all who were tested — came back positive for lead poisoning in 2018. In some neighborhoods, it is estimated that one-in-five children have been poisoned by lead.

Fortunately, a new law aims to help address this problem.

Fighting to Protect Syracuse’s Most Vulnerable Children

According to the Centers for Disease Control, lead is a potent neurotoxin. Even a relatively modest, one-time exposure can lead to cognitive impairment. Children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, and paint dust particles are one of the most common vectors for poisoning. Prior to the 1970s, lead paint was commonly used in residential homes. When newer, lead-free coats of paint begin to wear off and expose the older lead paint below, children can easily become exposed to dangerous particles. Simply breathing in dust from a window sill can lead to serious lead poisoning.

Landlord negligence is one of the primary reasons why children continue to be exposed roughly five decades after lead paint was outlawed. A new proposed law, however, would allow Syracuse code inspectors to test for lead paint and lead dust inside every rental property in the city. This enhanced inspection action — along with stronger anti-lead codes on the books — could help lower the elevated childhood lead poisoning numbers that have historically haunted Syracuse.

City inspectors cannot currently cite landlords for lead — only for chipped paint.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, who introduced the proposed law, told the media:

“Under the proposed legislation, the city will identify high risk areas for lead exposure, allowing our inspectors to take dust swipe samples even in properties where deteriorated paint is not visible. Working together, we will wipe out the threat of lead to our children once and for all.”

The proposed law comes on the heels of a grand jury indictment against seven landlords for failing to act on lead paint violations, jeopardizing the health of their tenants.

After a public comment period, Syracuse officials will vote on the new law. A similar bill passed by Rochester officials was credited with dramatically reducing the number of lead poisoning cases within that city. It’s estimated cases there have fallen by 90%.

Finding An Experienced Lead Poisoning Attorney

The Frankel Law Firm has been fighting for the rights of lead poisoning victims for decades. We have the extensive experience and deep knowledge in this complex area of the law which involves local, state and federal legislation to handle even the most challenging cases.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (212) 888-5100 or at

All plaintiff lead poisoning injury cases which are accepted are on a contingency basis which means that there will be no attorneys fee unless successful. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we can arrange for a free consultation by Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Please feel free to give us a call.

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