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Monday, July 2, 2018


 Cedar AttanasioSarah Trefethen and Bruce Golding

Julissa Jimenez says she took matters into her own hands when the New York City Housing Authority ignored her repeated pleas to strip and replace the peeling paint in her kids’ bedroom.
“I painted it over. I had to,” she said Sunday.
Jimenez, 27, said she felt compelled to act because her son, Shain Williams, 7, tested positive for lead exposure at age 2 and has been having problems in school.
“They’re trying to see if that’s why he had a learning disability,” she said.
Jimenez said Shain was found to have 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, which is now the city’s new standard for inspecting the homes of lead-poisoned kids.

But the Bronx mom’s desperate action did little to stop paint from peeling in the bedroom, or in the living room of their 13th-floor apartment in the Edenwald Houses, where The Post on Sunday saw paint chips littering the floors.
Last month, the feds listed Edenwald among four projects that NYCHA had “determined to be lead-free” and where it didn’t conduct tests after kids living there tested positive for lead.
“Thus, NYCHA has continued to treat these four developments as if they are lead paint free and lead paint hazard free, when the evidence shows they are not,” court papers said.
Jimenez said her stopgap measure also got her in hot water with NYCHA because she used blue and lavender paint to cover the walls of her kids’ bedroom. NYCHA insisted the room should have been painted in pale green, she said.
Shain shares the bedroom, furnished with a bunkbed and decorated with stickers of characters from the animated movie “Cars,” with a younger sister who’s 3.

The little girl has yet to be tested for lead exposure, Jimenez said.
Royalle Reddix, 20, is another NYCHA mom worried about the peeling paint in her apartment in the Van Dyke Houses in Brooklyn, which NYCHA has identified as having lead paint.
Reddix said her 2-year-old son, Zachary, tested positive for lead in May, but she refused NYCHA’s offer to paint the apartment because the plan didn’t include stripping off the old paint.
Reddix said Zachary, who quietly chewed on the paper wrapper of an ice pop while his mom spoke, seemed fine despite his exposure to the toxin.
“He goes to daycare, he’s learning to talk and stuff. He knows how to say the basic words,” she said.
But she still wants to move out, saying, “I feel like it will affect him in a bad way if we live here anymore.”
A NYCHA spokeswoman said: “We will immediately reach out to both residents to offer lead inspections. No parent should have to wonder about the safety of their home.”

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