Poison Profits

Lead paint is making New York City’s children sick — and some landlords see it as the cost of doing business.
Feature (New York)

Nicky Forster, Scilla Alecci
Huffington Post, WNYC (NY)
March 31, 2016

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Lead Poisoning

Organizations mentioned/involved: Urban Justice Center (UJC) (New York City)


In New York City, federal prosecutors recently opened an investigation into lead hazards found in the city’s public housing. According to the health department, one of the biggest sources of lead exposure for New York City children is lead paint, which can flake and crumble onto floors, especially at friction points like door and window frames. It’s an issue in many cities and towns with older housing stock.

Mandatory blood testing and a 2004 law requiring lead paint inspections have paid dividends, contributing to a big drop in the number of reported poisoning cases each year. But for children in many of the poorest parts of the city — areas populated overwhelmingly by minorities and immigrants — the risk of lead poisoning remains stubbornly high, an investigation by The Huffington Post and WNYC found.