Tenants at 89 E. 116 St. in Harlem are upset about the shoddy cleanup of their apartments following a fatal gas explosion last month. The tenants have filed suit against their landlord and New York City, complaining that toxic lead paint hazards were not mitigated before tenants were told it was safe to return home.
In 2012, there were 923 reported cases of New York City children suffering lead poisoning. The City's health department reports that this figure reveals a 66 percent decline from 2005 and evidences an improvement in lead poisoning prevention. There were 1,183 children poisoned by lead in 2011.
Lead poisoning is a significant environmental disease. 89% of the apartments in Manhattan's Inwood and Washington Heights communities contain lead based paint. If lead paint is found in an apartment the landlord is required by law to remove, abate, encapsulate the lead paint. It requires that the work be done by licensed professionals. Lead poisoning can result in severe brain damage to an infant. If lead paint is found in the apartment remove the children until the woek is completed. NYC Department of Health provides safe-houses where people can stay with their children during the renovation of the apartment.