Lead Poisoning FAQ
** Lead poisoning in young children is a serious problem, affecting hundreds of children every year in the District of Columbia.
** Old lead paint is almost always the cause of lead poisoning. Lead in paint was banned by the District of Columbia in 1973 and by the Federal Government in 1978, but any home or apartment built before then could very well have hazardous lead paint. Chipping and peeling lead paint is especially dangerous to young children.
** At high levels lead poisoning can cause coma, convulsions even death. At lower levels lead poisoning causes brain damage — lower I.Q., learning disabilities, attention deficits, hyperactivity and other serious neuropsychological problems. Lead poisoned children often need special education services as long as they are in school and lead poisoned children have a greater likelihood of delinquency and aggressive behavior.
** Children are lead poisoned at blood lead levels as low as 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (ug/dL). Even at this low level, lead begins to cause brain damage in children. A microgram is one one-millionth of a gram. The amount of lead paint dust that can lead poison a two year old child is very, very small.
** Young children between the ages of one and three years of age with lead poisoning usually have no symptoms even at relatively high levels (up to 50 ug/dL). A lead poisoned child often looks and behaves normally. Later on, though, a lead poisoned child will often have serious problems in school, requiring special education services. The only way to detect lead poisoning in young children, is to test a child’s blood for lead.
**Since 2002, in the District of Columbia, doctors and other health care providers must test your child once between the ages of 6 and 9 months and a second time between the ages of 22 and 26 months, as part of any well-child or other visit to a doctor or health care provider. Make sure that your pediatrician tests your child at least as often as this, and even more often if you live in a home built before 1978.
** District of Columbia Housing Regulations require landlords to remove lead paint in homes where children live, or visit regularly, and requires landlords to repair chipping, peeling paint.
** District of Columbia law prohibits a landlord from evicting you, just because you reported him for Housing code violations.
** Federal regulations require landlords to tell tenants if they know there is lead paint in their homes, and to provide tenants information about preventing lead paint poisoning.
** If you have questions about your rights or suspect that your child was or is being lead poisoned, call me at 202-969-2223 for a FREE CONSULTATION. I have recovered over $15 million dollars for lead poisoned children in the District of Columbia.
**For more information, go to http://app.doh.dc.gov/services/administration_offices/environmental/lead_hazards.shtm
Law Office of Daniel S. Kozma
2120 L. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037