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Lead poisoning: Diagnosis and treatment

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Lead poisoning is a serious health concern that requires immediate medical attention. Although it’s best to avoid this altogether, if you or your loved one is dealing with lead poisoning it’s good to know that there are treatment options to consider. If you have any reason to believe that you (or your child) has lead poisoning, ask your doctor for more information. He or she can run a blood test to determine if you’re at risk. While it’s simple enough to diagnose lead poisoning, it’s never as easy to treat this condition. Here are a few things you need to know about treatment: The first step is to remove the source of contamination. In other words, you don’t want to continue to expose yourself to the problem. Chelation therapy can treat moderate to high levels of lead poisoning. With this, an oral medication is administered with the idea that it will bind to the lead and eventually makes its way out of the body during urination. EDTA chelation therapy is another option. This is typically used with higher lead levels or with children who are unable to tolerate the more conventional approach. EDTA chelation therapy is given by injection. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to lead poisoning. This is a serious problem that can have serious consequences, such as holding a child back from developing. Fortunately, diagnosis is easy enough and there are treatment options available. By working closely with the right medical team, you can gain a better understanding of what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Once you learn more about your treatment options, you should make sure you avoid exposure in the future. You should also learn more about the original cause of your problem, as you may be in position to file a lawsuit against a negligent party, such as a landlord.

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Tips for parents to protect kids from exposures to lead

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Being a parent is hard work, and sometimes it can seem as if the deck is stacked against you and your kids. If your child is exposed to lead in the home environment, he or she will definitely experience life-long difficulties. Living in a toxic home This highly toxic metal is found in many rental houses and apartments in southern California. Keep in mind that up until 1978, it was legal to paint homes and apartments with lead-based paint. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has roughly 24 million housing units contaminated by deteriorated lead paint. The paint becomes mixed with ordinary house dust and clings to surfaces and floors throughout the dwelling. It’s estimated that there are over 4 million infants and toddlers are living in these contaminated homes. Lead poisoning in kids a barrier to success When young children are exposed to lead — and there are no known safe exposures — they are susceptible to multiple conditions and developmental abnormalities that are irreversible. The damage can be to the nervous and circulatory systems, brain and kidneys. Children with lead exposures often experience seizures, behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Some die as a result of the damage they suffer. While some kids display no discernible symptoms, others experience some or all of the following: Nausea Upset stomach Irritability Headaches Tiredness Lead can be found outside in the soil surrounding the house or apartment. Kids and adults track it inside on their shoes and contaminate the floors where babies learn to crawl. Then, they put dusty fingers into mouths or nibble on a paint chip, and their fate is sealed. How can parents protect kids? In a perfect world, not living in a home with elevated lead levels is the best way to protect them. But we live in reality, and it’s a sad fact that some parents are forced to rear their children in less-than-optimal environments. If you know or suspect that there is lead contamination in your rental house or apartment, your landlord has the obligation to provide a safe living space for all tenants. He or she should be notified so that the proper decontamination steps can be taken. Tenants can also notify the county or state health departments so that they can test for lead levels. Below are some tips for parents to take to keep their children’s environments as lead-free as possible. Don’t let kids play in the dirt. Fill a covered sandbox with sand and let them dig to their heart’s consent. Keep surfaces free of dust. Treat all accumulations of dust as potential lead exposures. Reduce amount of household dust. This is especially vital during routine maintenance tasks, remodeling and renovations. Take shoes off outside. Slip on a pair of slippers only worn inside. Damp mop floors weekly. This is an important part of controlling household dust. Vacuum regularly using a HEPA filter. It’s important to use it on upholstery, too. Pick up paint chips. Use a paper towel to pick up, then wipe with a damp one. If you suspect that lead exposures have occurred with your children, seek medical testing for them. While there is no way to ameliorate the damage, getting your children supportive services they may now require can be beneficial to them as they grow up. You may decide to also pursue legal action against the person(s) or companies who were responsible for your children’s exposures to this environmental toxin.

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The dangers of lead poisoning can have unforeseen consequences

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted in blog on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Last summer, one of the officers that faced charges over the arrest and subsequent death of a Baltimore native received an acquittal. The officers arrested the 25-year-old suspect for possession of a switchblade. From the time the officers placed the suspect in handcuffs and their arrival at the police station, the suspect had suffered from severe spinal cord injuries and was unconscious. One week later, the young man died as a result of those injuries. Before the young man found himself on the wrong side of the law, he was what is commonly known as a “lead kid.” He was one of tens of thousands of Baltimore children that had suffered long-term exposure to lead-based paint that was present in the home. At 9 months old, the Baltimore native had lead in his blood that was more than twice the level at which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends action. At 12 months old, his blood lead level was six times higher than the CDC’s limit. By the time he was close to 2, his levels were eight times higher. Overall, his blood lead level was 37 times higher than the average level of most children under five. When a child is exposed to low levels of lead over an extended period of time, it can result in behavioral and learning problems. The child might show signs of increased aggression and hyperactivity. Also, this kind of exposure can lead to a permanently reduced intelligence quotient (IQ). If a child suffers exposure to high levels of lead, it can cause coma or possibly death. Long-term lead exposure can also have life-long effects, even after the exposure ceases. For example, studies have shown that children that once had high levels of lead in the blood have a higher tendency to drop out of school, engage in substance abuse, commit violent criminal acts and even spend time in jail. While the government has taken steps to reduce lead exposure, there is an average of four million children that still come into contact with lead substances in the home. Of these, 500,000 that are under the age of five are suffering from higher than average blood lead levels. Unsafe housing is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning across the country, including in Beverly Hills and the surrounding area. If you are worried that there might be lead in the paint or water pipes of your home or apartment, it is important to remember that, as a tenant, you have the right to live in a safe living space. If your landlord refuses to take the necessary action to protect you and your family from lead poisoning, you may be able to take legal action.

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Environmental group awaits governor’s signature on bill

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Monday, October 2, 2017. Earlier this month, California legislators gathered in Sacramento and voted unanimously to approve laws that will provide testing for lead exposures to hundreds of thousands of additional at-risk youngsters in the state. The present program has struggled with identifying the approximately two-thirds of California kids with lead poisoning. New rules for lead poisoning testing The bill, known as AB 1316, was co-sponsored by Democratic Assembly Members Cristina Garcia, Bell Gardens, and Bill Quirk of Hayward. It mandates that the state Department of Public Health (DPH) revise their regulations for the times when doctors test for lead exposure in children’s blood. Assemblyman Quirk — a former employee of both the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — stated, “As a scientist, I spent most of my career working to safeguard the public’s health and safety, locally and globally.” He added that the bill he co-sponsored “do[es] the same. AB 1316 will go a long way in protecting our . . . children from lead contamination.” Concluding that “[t]here is no safe exposure to lead,” the assemblyman voiced his gratitude for the support given to the bill by his fellow legislators. More factors considered in lead-poisoning cases These new rules force the DPH to consider multiple factors that have the potential for exposing California kids to lead, a dangerous neurotoxin. These factors include drinking water that flows through lead pipes and living near freeways and/or lead smelters. According to the Public Health Institute in Oakland, it’s estimated that in the 11-year period from 1999 to 2010, their intervention group, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, was only able to identify 37 percent of the kids in California who had lead poisoning. Under both current state and federal laws, all minors on public assistance programs like Medi-Cal must get tested for lead poisoning. Even though the laws require testing for children at 1 and 2 years of age, the program has fallen far short of those requirements. Once the new bill becomes law with Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, as many as 300,000 additional children may get annual tests for lead poisoning. The bill stipulates that at-risk children “of any age” can be tested if their health care provider prescribes it. Commitment to keeping kids safe Other provisions of the bill mandate that the DPH reach definitive goals to increase understanding of high lead exposure in kids and reduce its frequency. They also will offer more information to California consumers about the agency’s progress in meeting their goals and enhance their data management system. This will ultimately support the case management and analysis of children with lead poisoning. The bill’s lead sponsor was the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The group collaborated with additional public interest organizations to ensure that the legislation passed. If you are the parent of a child who was exposed to lead poisoning in the home or elsewhere in the community, it may be possible to sue for your child’s present and future losses due to this exposure.

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Lessons about lead poisoning from Flint, Michigan

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Friday, September 29, 2017. During the three years that the people of Flint, Michigan have been struggling with the lead-tainted water coming out of their faucets, most of the scientific attention has been directed toward the effects of lead on children’s brains. A recent Washington Post article makes clear that another effect of lead is just as terrible: the deaths of babies still in the womb. Fetal death statistics  A report by health economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University claims that some 198 to 276 babies conceived from November 2013 through March 2015, died before being born because of the lead in Flint’s water. This case is especially deplorable because state officials knowingly switched from safe water to lead-polluted water. Flint decided in 2014 to draw water from the Flint River, a source notorious for industrial waste going back nearly a hundred years. People in Flint knew there was something seriously wrong with drinking water that was dirty and smelled bad. But well into 2015 the city and state were assuring people who depended on that water to live was fine. Flint and Los Angeles Flint is a rust belt Midwestern city with lead issues different from Southern California, where the most common problem involved lead paint. But the danger of lead that becomes embedded in a child’s body, from conception through childhood, is very similar. The deleterious effects of lead on the health and well-being of children is beyond dispute. They include cognitive problems, anger issues, poor performance in school, and an assortment host of functional issues with the brain, kidneys, and liver. The full paper, titled “The Effect of an Increase in Lead in the Water System on Fertility and Birth Outcomes: The Case of Flint, Michigan,” can be accessed here.

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Are you familiar with the symptoms of lead poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017. It’s easy to believe that lead poisoning will never impact you or your family, but it’s possible that this could come into play at some point in the future. There are many causes of lead poisoning, such as if a child ingests lead paint chips. Lead-based paints were common in homes for many years, as this was not banned until 1978. As a parent, it’s important to understand the many symptoms of lead poisoning, as this will help you pinpoint if your child is suffering from this illness. Some of the primary signs and symptoms include: Learning difficulties Developmental delays Loss of appetite Irritability Weight loss Abdominal pain Vomiting Fatigue and an overall feeling of sluggishness Seizures Hearing loss While some of these things are simple to pinpoint after ingestion, other signs don’t immediately move to the forefront. For example, you may not recognize developmental delays right away. Knowing the potential causes of lead poisoning is important, as this can help you and your family avoid trouble. As noted above, lead was used in many paint products up until 1978. In addition to paints for homes, it can be found on some types of furniture and toys. It’s possible that lead pipes can release particles into drinking water. If you have any reason to believe that you or your child is suffering from lead poisoning, make sure you receive immediate medical attention. From there, you’ll want to find out what went wrong. For example, you may find that your landlord left lead paint in your home. In this case, you should learn more about your legal rights. You may find that you are in position to file a lawsuit with the idea of receiving compensation.

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Do you know your rights as a tenant?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Friday, August 25, 2017. As a renter, you have certain rights. From the moment you fill out an apartment rental application, you have certain federally protected rights. This means that if you feel a landlord rejected your rental application and violated your rights by doing so, you may be able to take legal action. Your tenants’ rights include protection from discrimination and the right to live in a safe home. In order to know whether or not a Los Angeles landlord has violated your rights, you must first understand what those rights are. Read below to find out more about your basic rights as a tenant. Discrimination is prohibited Tenants across the country are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws. This means that a landlord cannot deny your rental application based on ethnicity, race, age, religion or gender. In addition, a landlord cannot deny your application based on whether or not you have children or plan to have children, or any physical or mental disabilities a member of your household might have. A rental company cannot post advertisements that use any discriminatory wording that indicates the landlord is biased when it comes to the protected statuses mentioned above. Also, the lessor cannot lie about the availability of a unit such as claiming it is not for rent when in fact it is. Furthermore, you have a right to be free from a landlord’s harassment, treatment different from other tenants, as well as any other behavior that is discriminatory in nature. Right to a safe and habitable living space As a tenant, you have the right to live in a habitable space. This means that your apartment must meet a reasonable standard of structural soundness and be free of things like mold and poor wiring. Also, any living space you rent should not have holes in the floor, ceiling tiles or plaster that is falling in, or any kind of rodent or insect infestation. No lead-based paint Many older buildings contain lead-based paint. Federal law states that all rental housing must not have any lead-based paint. Unfortunately, approximately 75 percent of dwellings available for rent still have lead paint on the walls and ceiling. Regardless of the age of your rental, watch for signs of paint peeling, chipping or flaking. Contact with lead-based paint can cause lead poisoning, which can be extremely harmful. Privacy Unless there is some kind of emergency, such as a fire, your landlord cannot enter your home without your permission. If he needs to come in to address a maintenance issue, he must give you notice. Your living space is yours, which means you have control over who enters it. If you are experiencing any kind of discriminatory behavior from your landlord, or if he is not providing a reasonably safe living space, it is important to remember that you have federally protected rights as a tenant. Do not stand for a landlord or leasing agency that is not following federal and state laws.

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Beverly Hills Law Blog

Why did people ever make lead-based paint? On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Monday, August 19, 2019. Lead-based paint is a serious health hazard. It’s especially dangerous for children. When they breathe in the dust or even put paint chips directly into their mouths, they can suffer from learning disabilities, IQ issues, mood swings, aggression issues and much more. Lead can stunt their development. While some of the signs only show up as the child gets older, exposure at a young age can have an impact for the rest of their life. What you may wonder, then, is why lead paint was ever used. You know that people did not understand the negative impact of lead in previous generations. They didn’t know it was toxic. Just look at the Romans, who used it in pipes and plates and cups. Only in recent decades have people really discovered just how bad it is.

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Recent Victory – $911,000 Lead Poisoning and Habitability case

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Congratulations to the Lopez family upon recovering $911,000 in connection with their recent habitability and lead poisoning case! Do not let unscrupulous landlords take advantage of you and your children. Safe and habitable housing is the law!

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Is your apartment making you and your family sick?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Friday, July 28, 2017. Many California residents live in low-income housing, and the landlords who own low-income houses — in other words, slumlords — do not always keep their premises safe. One of the biggest problems that plagues families living in this type of home environment is the threat of lead poisoning. It’s important for everyone to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in order to avoid the condition. By recognizing lead poisoning, those hurt by the condition may be able to pursue legal claims for financial compensation in California civil court. Why is lead dangerous? Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to the human body. Lead contamination is especially dangerous for children because children more readily put objects and their hands in their mouths. Lead can enter the body when children touch lead objects with their hands or put lead objects into their mouths. Children can also inadvertently consume lead dust by putting lead-contaminated hands and other lead-contaminated objects in their mouths. Also, because they are still growing, children’s brains and bodies are more susceptible to lead contamination. Here are some of the symptoms that children with lead poisoning may exhibit: Learning and behavioral problems; Delayed growth; Headaches; Hearing difficulties; and Brain and nervous system damage. Adults with lead poisoning may exhibit the following symptoms: Complications during pregnancy; Reproductive health problems for men and women; High blood pressure; Nervous disorders; Muscle and joint pain; and Concentration and memory difficulties. Act fast if you’re suffering from lead poisoning symptoms California residents who suspect that they or a family member is suffering from lead poisoning need to act fast. The sooner you take action to remove an affected person from the source of lead poisoning, the sooner the individual can recover, and the less likely he or she will develop permanent injuries. Stiff rules and regulations exist in California to hold landlords accountable for keeping their rented properties lead free. There are also rules and regulations that govern how a landlord must notify tenants of the risk of lead poisoning if a property is known to contain lead-based products.

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