BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Megan Galaszka-Miller’s three-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with elevated lead levels in her blood which might explain the behavior issues she is also exhibiting. Lead is toxic, and among its symptoms are developmental delays and irritability.
Authorities believe Dymenique Wellington’s condition stems from lead remediation that took place in the apartment building, on High Street, where her family was living when the landlord was remodeling an upstairs unit with little regard for federal or state regulations for getting lead out.
Galaszka-Miller recalled the nearly two years she lived in the first floor apartment–a time when she was pregnant with Dymenique.
“The paint was falling off,” Megan said of the paint in her apartment “I mean big pieces.” Those paint chips turned out to be laden with lead. But it was the landlord’s remodeling of the upstairs apartment that might have had the most lasting impact on Megan’s family.
The upstairs walls were covered with lead paint, and during the sawing and cutting and sanding, authorities believe lead dust got in the air and Megan inhaled it. Now Dymanique seems to be suffering the consequences-she has been diagnosed with ADHD.
Megan contacted authorities, which prompted state, city, county, and federal agencies to investigate her complaint. The Rochester-based owner reached a settlement, agreeing to forfeit the house on High Street, and 5 other properties they owned in Buffalo.
The company is also paying more than $300,000 in restitution to relocate tenants. Megan is now wondering what the future holds for her family. Her 9-year-old son also presented lead in his system.. but it is Dymanique that scares her.
“Is this going to affect her long term? Was the lead level high enough, but then it was elevated. If that is elevated then problems can occur, and rise anytime.”
News 4 reached out to the attorney for the Rochester company that owned Megan’s building, and he declined comment at this time. The $300,000 in restitution is being administered by the Matt Urban Center, and a portion of the settlement is also being applied toward removing lead from other homes across the city.