There has been much hue and cry over the 2014 water crisis in Flint, Michigan . At the time, the water supply came into question in regard to lead poisoning.
Residential home owners, landlords, and property financiers and managers have long been acquainted with lead health risks and the liability that comes along with it.
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Understanding Lead Poisoning
Toxic levels of lead are reached when the amount of the metal in someone’s body increases dangerously. But trace amounts of lead can also contribute to significant health problems – especially in young children.
Lead poisoning can lead to symptoms that relate to child developmental delays – both mentally and physically. High levels of the metal in a person can be deadly.
Prevalent sources of lead poisoning include lead-based paint and lead-tainted dust found in older homes and buildings. Furthermore, polluted air and water, as well as soil can also be sources. Workers working with batteries or property restorations or within auto repair garages may be vulnerable to exposure as well.
Patients diagnosed with low lead counts can lower their levels just by keeping away from the lead exposure. Those with high levels may benefit from a treatment referred to as ‘Chelation’. As with anything, the prevention is the best cure.
Tips on Preventing Lead Poisoning
Good hygiene and home maintenance habit that help prevent lead poisoning include:
- running the cold water for a minimum of 60 seconds prior to using
- washing hands prior to meal and snack time, before sleeping, and following child outdoor playtime
- cleaning toys frequently with antiseptic solution
- mopping floors regularly, dusting furniture, and cleaning household surfaces with a moistened rag or paper towel
- teaching household members to take off their shoes before entering the home
- planting grass over bare outdoor soil patches, covering sand boxes after playtime
- eating healthful and regular meals
- looking out for peeling paint in a lead-painted room and correcting paint-related hitches
- avoiding problematic dust by not sanding walls
Is Lead Poisoning Covered under Apartment Building Insurance?
The states of ME, MA and MD do have insurance endorsement related to lead risks, but in NJ such coverage is either excluded from state-specific forms or provides minimum coverage.
What about NY?
With recent university studies concluding that soil in Brooklyn, NY contain potentially toxic levels of lead, the matter becomes underscored. Carriers, however, remain reluctant to provide coverage.
It is only when a landlord hires a special lead inspector that can prove lead is not an overriding problem that most insurance companies will agree to offer a corresponding policy, say the experts.
For more on Lead Poisoning Insurance, speak to an experienced independent insurance agent.
Summary: Lead poisoning is a serious health issue for the homeowner, renter and landlord. Prime Insurance discusses lead sources, preventive tips and insurance ramifications here.