Baltimore's lead poisoning crisis & Human Development

 

Many people have heard of Lead, but few are really in tune with the consequences of being exposed to the element.

Korryn Gaines and Freddie Gray, of Baltimore, were both killed by police in Baltimore and both suffered from the effects of lead (Pb) poisoning. Lead is a toxic metal that has been known to humankind for thousands of years because it is widely distributed in the environment.

Only recently; has attention been focused on lead (Pb) as a significant source of illness, affecting millions of Americans and other individuals worldwide. At-least thirty health conditions are linked to lead exposure, many affecting children and unborn children. See for example the study Autism: a form of lead and mercury toxicity. 

A 2002 University of Pittsburgh study looked at the lead levels in 146 youths convicted in juvenile court against a control group of 146 youths without a criminal record and found “that the delinquent youths had significantly higher mean concentrations of lead.

According to the Guardian, "Gaines claimed she grew up in “a sea of lead” and had a lifetime lead level of 12 mg/dL. The suit alleges that Gaines “suffered permanent brain damage resulting in developmental and behavioural injuries”.

Some of the indicators or qualities of those affected by lead (Pb) include; stubbornness, sluggishness, tired, mean, cruel, nasty, tough (meaning thick or dense), sad, lonely, in a daze, violence, impure thoughts and many other developmental and social problems as a result of exposure. 


No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected.”

“Lead interrupts the stress reaction and so it distorts the way people view threats and so I think that’s absolutely germane to both Freddie Gray and Korryn Gaines,” said Lawrence Brown, a professor of public health at Morgan State University. “If [lead poisoning] is in fact disturbing and exaggerating the threat then you can understand why Freddie Gray is running and why Korryn Gaines has a shotgun when the police are knocking on her door.
— Center for Disease Control