Testing For Lead Based Paint and Lead Dust In Apartments and Homes – The Case of Lead Dust in a Child’s Crib

Question: My apartment has a paint chipping condition. My child was just diagnosed with lead poisoning. The conditions of my apartment are very bad. I did not see my child put paint chips in his mouth. I have observed a lot of white powdery dust in the apartment. I suspect that my child was poisoned in his crib by the paint dust. Are there environmental tests that can be performed in order to determine whether there is lead dust in my child’s crib?

Yes. A lead testing company can be hired to perform very precise testing of the sheets of your child’s bed or crib in order to determine if there is dust on the sheets and if so, – whether the dust contains particles of lead paint.

If your child received a test result from a physician or clinic indicating that he is suffering from an elevated lead level, (lead poisoning) it may be prudent to have such a test performed. This will normally not be done by the Department of Health. The Department of Health of the City of New York normally tests surfaces in the apartment and they perform routine lead dust tests but rarely do they conduct tests to determine if the child is breathing in the lead from dust on the sheets of a crib or bed.

There are many different types of testing which can be performed. Some of the tests are quite expensive. The specific situation should dictate the type of testing which is done.

It is important to discuss this issue with your lead poisoning lawyer. In New York City, lead poisoning lawyers should be vigilant in obtaining relevant testing which may establish the mode of the child’s ingestion of lead from a lead paint condition in an apartment.

The lead poisoning lawyer should review all environmental findings. The results should be utilized to guide all remediation efforts in order to safeguard your family from the effects of lead based paint that may be chipping as well as many other conditions causing lead dust to be present.

The conditions causing lead dust are many. They include lead on friction surfaces on doors and door frames. Lead dust can spread from the frames of windows, window sills and window wells. Lead dust can even come from lead in common areas in the hallways of apartment buildings as well as from construction projects in other apartments causing dust to travel in hallways on the feet of people walking in and out of apartments. It comes from chipping and flaking paint from walls and other painted surfaces.

The key is to be vigilant. If you observe a potential source of a hazard do not be silent. Call 311 and complain to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. They are charged with the responsibility to inspect the condition and if appropriate to issue lead violations.

Lead test results may ultimately be critical evidence in any law suit which may be commenced arising from a child being harmed by the effects of lead based paint.

Lead dust is a very potent hazard. It is metabolized very efficiently and enters the body through both the digestive and respiratory system. The importance of making certain that this very serious hazard is removed from your child’s environment cannot be overstated.

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