A New Study Shows Lead Poisoning Effects May Linger Longer Than Believed

Lead poisoning remains a serious epidemic in the US, with the CDC estimating that more than 1.2 million children are suffering from some unacceptable level of lead exposure.

Even more troubling, the CDC also estimates that only half of the cases of childhood lead poisoning in the US are being identified and addressed. This means the hidden toll of the lead epidemic is likely far greater than understood.

While the deadly effects of lead are well understood (elevated levels can lead to brain damage and even death), the specific ways in which lead affects the human body are still being studied.

Recently, new research from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development was released that illustrates just how high the stakes are in terms of protecting children from lead exposure.

Study Shows Downstream Effects of Lead Poisoning Linger Well Into Adulthood

Released in June of the year, “Downstream Consequences of Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Longitudinal Study of Cleveland Children from Birth to Early Adulthood” shows just how serious lifetime effects of lead poisoning can be.

Researchers studied two groups of children in Cleveland, Ohio. One group had significant lead exposure by age three; the other did not.

Researchers reported the following:

“We track(ed) markers of their educational success throughout elementary and high school, and also look(ed) at adverse events, such as juvenile delinquency, adult incarceration, homelessness, and having to rely on public assistance.

“We find that children with elevated lead levels in early childhood have significantly worse outcomes on markers of school success, and higher rates of adverse events in adolescence and early adulthood, compared to their non-exposed peers. The size of these disparities is generally in the 20-30% range across both cohorts, and represents a sizable societal cost due to the loss of human capital, the burden on local systems, and persistence of inequality.

A 30% disparity between groups is highly significant. Other researchers have suggested that early lead poisoning creates the conditions for a “poisoning to prison pipeline.” Children with lead exposure often have cognitive deficits and behavioral problems that may lead to issues with critical thinking and impulse control.

This study is one of only a handful that track lead-exposed children over a long period. As such, it helps illustrate that the dangers associated with lead poisoning often lead to serious disabilities that linger through adulthood.

The study also showed that “African American youth are disproportionately poisoned by lead as young children and that this leads to a series of other disadvantages as they grow up. It is worth noting that some of the largest impacts of lead poisoning are in justice system involvement, where other factors such as societal biases, policing and judicial practices play a role in who gets into these systems.”

Researchers involved with the study say that a greater emphasis on lead poisoning prevention is not only an urgent health matter, but also a matter of social justice.

Finding the Right Lead Poisoning Attorney

At the Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of injured persons for more than 40 years.

In the area of lead poisoning litigation, The Frankel Law Firm has been at the forefront of the fight for justice for lead poisoning victims.

We have a long and successful legal history as being the attorneys on landmark and precedent setting cases such as Juarez vs. Wavecrest Management and have recovered many millions of dollars for the victims of lead poisoning.

At The Frankel Law Firm we pride ourselves in the careful and exhaustive preparation,  investigation and litigation of lead poisoning cases and have a long track record of success and dedication to our clients.

Give us a call if you need help at (212) 888-5100 or you can visit our website at and contact us via the contact option displayed on the page.  

All plaintiff lead poisoning cases which are accepted are on a contingency basis which means that there will be no attorneys fee unless successful. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we can arrange for a free consultation by Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Please feel free to give us a call.

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