New Yorkers should feel safe in their homes. Sadly, though, this often isn’t the case. While violence in the city is always a concern, so, too, are silent dangers that can cause serious injuries and death. One of these extremely hazardous risks is lead exposure. Even though lead has been banned for decades, many older building throughout New York contain lead-based paint, which can chip and become airborne.

Now, a group of New York parents are suing the New York Housing Authority in federal court for its alleged failure to adequately remedy known lead contaminations. In one child’s case, his lead levels reached 15 micrograms per deciliter, which is well over New York’s recognized level of poisoning, which sits at 10 micrograms per deciliter. The city’s Health Department inspected that child’s residence and discovered multiple lead-ridden walls with chipping paint and dust, but when it ran tests on that paint it found that although lead was present, it wasn’t at a dangerously high level.

Many find the Health Department’s failure to use an outside testing resource self-serving in nature. After all, after those test results came back, the city decided to do nothing with the apartment for more than two weeks. At that point they conducted further testing which led to a court ordered clean up of the residence. By that time, though, the damage to the child may have been irreversible, as he still exhibits symptoms of lead poisoning despite his lead levels decreasing significantly.

Lead poisoning is far too common in our city, and it is wholly unacceptable, especially when property owners and managers are well aware of lead-related risks. For this reason, those who are affected by lead poisoning may want to speak with a legal advocate who may be able to help them pursue a premises liability lawsuit.