New York taking steps to limit lead paint exposure


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

If you’re living in New York city, it should come to you as no surprise that there are a bunch of the buildings there that aren’t just old, but that on occasion you will see certain things you really weren’t expecting to see. New York truly is a place that stands out for its good and its bad, too. While it’s a place that attracts massive amounts of tourists every single year, it’s also a place where the dangers may be hiding in the dark. It’s a place that has the reputation that it has for a reason. It is a place where you may not want to go in the dark in the wrong neighborhood. It’s also a place where you don’t have to go that far back in town before you’d get to a time and a place where there were large parts of the city that were inherently unsafe. It’s a city that has done a lot of cleaning up its act, and it’s a city that has had to do a lot of cleaning up, too.

It is also a city that sees millions of people coming through it every single year because of everything that it offers. It has Broadway, it has the statue of liberty, and it has so many other things that so many people are willing to travel great distances for in order to come and visit. It’s also a city that has a problem that many people may not be realizing.

It has a bunch of lead paint spread out across the city, stemming from the fact that many buildings are as old as they are. It’s a city that has suffered a lot, and healed a lot. It has lots of beautiful art spread throughout the city, and it  has many old buildings. And we mean lots of them. 

To provide a little background on the matter, lead paint was a thing that was commonly used in the past, and given its many good properties, it is no surprise that manufacturers would choose to add lead pigments to paint. Besides making it last longer, it also made the paint dry faster. But at the time that the issue was being created, people did not know that it also posed a range of problems. Problems that would not just lead to massive lawsuits, but it would also lead to devastating health consequences for the people living in the housing that contained the paint. It would also create the opportunity for businesses such as Check4Lead to sell the various types of equipment needed in order to do lead abatement and other work mandated by the EPA, although as a consequence of the many lives that it affected throughout history. Lead would end up having devastating health consequences for millions of people being exposed to it, especially as the material deteriorates over time.

While the addition of the pigments may have certain benefits, it sure also has a range of negative ones, ones that landlords may not be overly fond of disclosing, yet still ones of massive importance.

While the lead may be safe to be around when it remains in good condition, there is no paint that will be able to sustain the continued exposure to the various elements. While there may be some types of paint that are more durable than others, paint will eventually start showing wear and tear, and it is when that wear and tear starts happening that the health consequences end up pursuing. It is when the lead starts deteriorating that the lead particles are released not just into the air, but lying on top of various things that curious minds could end up ingesting. This sort of exposure would then lead to the various consequences like kidney failure, developmental delay and more, with kids being the ones that are the most exposed. 

While it may all sound bad, the reality is worse. Because kids don’t just end up exposed if the necessary precautions are taken. When the paint starts to deteriorate actions should be taken so as to limit the exposure. The necessary pros should be hired for the purpose to come in and improve the situation, which would ultimately mean that the old paint would have to be removed in a safe manner, which requires that contractors undergo the necessary training and certification in order to do so. Without addressing deteriorating lead paint, it will start affecting a child’s development. However, in order to bring the back up to the safety standards that it needs to be at, it can cost a homeowner or landlord $10,000 to $15,000 to do lead abatement. For landlords, that is often a cost that they cannot just pass onto tenants, why a lot of them are reluctant to do the necessary work.  

Fortunately, the EPA previously introduced measures in order to limit people’s exposure to the material, yet the reality of the matter was that there are still a lot of contractors out there that choose not to follow the guidelines instituted by the EPA. A lack of adherence to those guidelines means that the inhabitants of New York are unnecessarily being exposed to lead paint every single day. 

Besides the potential for exposure if living in an old building with deteriorating paint, the reality is that there are lots of society’s most vulnerable that are being exposed to this disproportionally. Renters are usually the ones that may not even be aware of the situation, and may not have the financial means to remedy the situation. Besides that, it is often people living in public housing that are more exposed as these are notoriously known for their lacking health standards and deteriorating conditions. The same is the case for many homeless shelters

Fortunately, New York has been on a mission to remedy a situation. A remedy long overdue, yet still a remedy. Many measures have been introduced by the city’s mayor since the start of February, that will start holding landlords accountable. 

It has additionally come out that Jared Kushner was one of the people who was massively in charge of renting out these various places, and simply chose to ignore the violations issued by the New York City Housing Authority.