Children Exposed To Lead Are More Likely To Commit Violent Crimes

Lead poisoning has been known for decades to cause brain damage and new research shows that lead poisoning is linked to violent crime. Lead is a toxin that damages the parts of the brain that control impulses, emotions, and a person’s ability to pay attention. Studies from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Pittsburgh found that children exposed to lead are more likely to commit violent crimes as adults because of brain damage caused by lead poisoning.

Most children are exposed to lead in their own homes from poorly maintained paint that contains lead. In 1978, the federal government made it illegal to use lead paint in homes, but there is no law that requires a property owner to remove lead paint from a home, so many older homes still contain lead paint today. Most parents are not aware of the danger of chipping paint in their homes, or of the lasting effects of lead poisoning.

The Yost Legal Group is a law firm with more than twenty years of experience in representing children and the parents of children who have been poisoned by lead. We have helped hundreds of children obtain monetary compensation for their lead poisoning injuries. The experienced attorneys at the Yost Legal Group can help investigate your or your child’s claim for lead poisoning.

Call our office at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll investigate your situation, and if you have a claim for Lead Paint Exposure, we will fight to protect your rights. There is never a fee upfront, and we only get paid when you do. If there is no recovery, then there is no attorneys fee.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

Lead Paint Poisoning Still Effecting Our Most Vulnerable Communities

At The Yost Legal Group, Baltimore Injury and Medical Malpractice law firm, we have represented hundreds of clients dealing with the lingering effects of lead paint poisoning in their children and loved ones. Exposure to lead paint has been indisputably linked to multiple mental and physical developmental ailments that can prove especially harmful to children. Symptoms of lead paint poisoning include:

  • Decreased IQ
  • Dramatic decrease in attention span and hand-eye coordination
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Stunted growth, decreased muscle mass and chronic muscle pain
  • Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, increase in aggressive and/or antisocial behavior

By now, the dangers associated with the use of lead paint are well-known and well documented by all medical professionals. For this reason, the use of lead paint in residential homes was banned by federal law in 1978. However, every year we still hear stories about the lingering effects of this dangerous and toxic substance and the impact it is having on members of our most vulnerable communities.

One 1999 study found that Baltimore city is home to the highest rates of lead paint poisoning among children in the United States. 93,000 children with lead poisoning have been added to the state’s Department of the Environment lead registries over the past two decades. These are key facts to remember when attempting to digest and contextualize the civil unrest that gripped Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died on April 19th, 2015, a week after he was first taken in to Police custody.

The Life and Times of Freddie Gray

Back in 2008, Gray and his siblings filed a lead-poisoning lawsuit against the property manager of the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood home where he and his family grew up. The suit resulted in a settlement on behalf of the Grays, who demonstrated that Freddie and his siblings were exposed to an extremely dangerous amount of lead paint very early on in their lives. In fact, when Freddie was only 22 months old, medical tests revealed that his blood contained 37 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. It is currently believed that a reading of only 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter is enough to cripple a child’s cognitive development.

Unsurprisingly, Freddie, his twin sister Fredericka, and an older sister, were all diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and aggressive tendencies nearly the second they were introduced into public schools. Their constant battle with this illness, which all too often goes unrecognized by teachers, parents and guardians, made education and normal childhood development a struggle for Freddie and his siblings.

According to many experts on the subject, these are precisely the types of developmental struggles that make it extremely difficult for impoverished African-American families to break free of the cycles of violence, drug abuse and criminal behavior that have plagued their communities for decades.

The Legacy of Lead in Baltimore

Tragically, entire communities are being forced due to financial constraints to live in low-income areas where homes and apartments are not properly inspected by housing or public health officials. A disproportionate amount of these homes still contain high levels of lead paint almost 40 years after it was originally banned.

In higher income neighborhoods in either the City or Baltimore County, even a trace amount of lead paint would necessitate immediate action from public health officials, rental and homeowners associations, and even politicians.

However, when the most impoverished members of our society are forced to deal with these struggles for decades, the problem is either ignored, swept under the rug or outright denied by the companies and property owners that are too concerned with turning a profit to bring their structures up to code.

Ruth Ann Norton, the executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, recently told the Washington Post that “a child who was poisoned with lead is seven times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system.” While exposure to lead paint certainly does not excuse criminal or anti-social behavior, it certainly indicates a disturbing trend among young people in our city’s most economically disadvantaged communities.

Freddie Gray was not alone in his struggle to not only overcome, but to even fundamentally understand, the massive public health failure that victimized both him and his siblings. Much more research and funding needs to be implemented in order to properly understand and combat the effects of lead-poisoning in impoverished neighborhoods.

Where to Turn for Help

When families and children are forced to live in homes that are unsafe, in a constant state of disrepair and in blatant violation of health codes, the property managers that are responsible for these conditions must be held responsible. At The Yost Legal Group, experienced Baltimore lawyers are helping people and families who have suffered from years of Lead Paint Poisoning exposure.

We have seen this cycle of illness impact far too many families. We want to do our part to help families and children who have been harmed from exposure to lead get the justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one feel you may be a victim of exposure to lead paint, call The Yost Legal Group today for help.

There are many resources available online on the topic of lead paint, including safety and prevention tips, tools and training, and more. Visit the Center for Disease Control’s Lead Paint Prevention Program here, or visit the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative here.

If you believe you are a victim of lead poisoning or lead paint exposure, call The Yost Legal Group right away at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). Our law firm has years of experience in aggressive litigation of lead paint poisoning claims. We have successfully won millions of dollars for suffering families, even in situations where the child may have been exposed many years ago.

Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to litigate your lead paint poisoning case on your behalf and fight to receive a fair settlement. When you call The Yost Legal Group for help, you will never be charged an attorney’s fee unless we achieve a recovery for you.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Trust The Yost Legal Group to determine the best course of action for you and your family.

Call for a free consultation. And if there is no recovery, there is no legal fee.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

LEAD PAINT: Understanding the History and Lingering Effects of this Public Health Crisis

The United States of America has a long and troubled history with the use of lead-based paint, and the repercussions of this dangerous industry remain a serious threat to millions of Americans today. In order to properly understand the risks of lead poisoning and ensure that you and your family avoid exposure to toxic levels of lead, it is important to look back at the history of this material, its uses, and why it remained so prevalent in the United States for years after its dangers were well documented.

It Started as Early as the 1920’s

Worldwide, the health risks of lead exposure were well known as early as the 1920s. Between 1920 and 1930, countries such as France, Austria, Belgium, and Greece banned the use of lead in all consumer products. The United States, however, did not feel a ban was necessary, as the lead industry had become one of the country’s most profitable institutions.

At this time, Americans consumed over 170,000 tons of lead paint per year, in spite of decades of well documented cases of hallucinations, convulsions, comas and even deaths experienced by individuals exposed to lead in industrial and domestic settings. Ignoring all evidence to the contrary, lead remained an essential ingredient in everything from paint and gasoline, to foil for candy wrappers and cake decorations.

By the 1940s, public debate about the use of lead and its associated health risks was raging in the United States. The lucrative lead industry successfully lobbied politicians and engaged in disinformation campaigns in the media to keep public policy from completely shifting out of their control.

High-ranking lead industry executives paid scientists to conduct flawed studies designed to muddy the waters of public opinion and cast doubt on the links between lead exposure and serious health problems. Much like the efforts of Big Tobacco in the early 2000s and Big Oil today, this disinformation campaign put industry profits above consumer health to an alarming degree.

Use of Lead in Products was banned in 1978

The use of lead in paint, gasoline, and all other consumer products was finally banned in 1978, but the CDC estimates that in 2013 over 500,000 American children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old still faced the severe medical dangers associated with lead poisoning. In addition, it is estimated that 30 million American homes still contain lead paint, with the highest concentration of lead poisoning cases found in Baltimore city.

Baltimore Residents and Children Hit Hard by Lead Poisoning Exposure

Baltimore residents should consult their medical professional as well as the Center for Disease Control’s Lead Prevention Program for advice about lead paint and steps to take.

If you feel you or your child has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead due to negligence or poor building upkeep, contact The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529).

The Yost Legal Group offers superior experience in aggressive litigation of lead paint poisoning claims and has successfully protected the rights of many families exposed to this serious health risk. If you feel you are at risk, don’t hesitate to act and call today for a free consultation.