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For decades now, we’ve known that lead poisoning can result in permanent brain damage in small children, leading to consistently lower IQs and developmental disabilities. However, cognitive ability isn’t the only brain function that may be affected by lead exposure. Research has shown that children exposed to small amounts of lead may eventually develop behavioral problems, some of which may even lead to violent behaviors.For decades now, we’ve known that lead poisoning can result in permanent brain damage in small children, leading to consistently lower IQs and developmental disabilities. However, cognitive ability isn’t the only brain function that may be affected by lead exposure. Research has shown that children exposed to small amounts of lead may eventually develop behavioral problems, some of which may even lead to violent behaviors.

 

Lead Exposure and Behavioral Issues

 

In 2014, a study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) discovered a clear link between lead exposure and small children and the development of behavioral and emotional problems as the children grew. Children exposed even to small amounts of lead were more likely to suffer from emotional problems like anxiety and depression and “externalizing behavior problems” such as aggressiveness and bullying. The takeaway from the study was that “there is no safe lead level.”

 

Lead Exposure and Violence

 

For years, researchers have surmised that widespread lead exposure in the 1970s was somehow connected to the increased crime rates in the 1980s and 90s. Now, as Brookings reports, at least three recent studies have confirmed the notion that lead exposure causes brain alterations that increase the chances for juvenile delinquency, criminal behavior, jail time, and even violence—including increased homicide rates as long as 20 years after the initial exposure.

 

How Kids Are Exposed to Lead

 

A few decades ago, nearly all of us were exposed to lead in some way. It was used extensively in paint; it filled the air due to car exhaust from leaded gasoline, and it even infiltrated our drinking water. Now that lead has been banned from most of these substances, lead exposure is less common, but it still happens—mainly when kids live in older buildings with peeling lead paint or old lead pipes. (NYC still has many such buildings.) It can also happen when lead contaminates the water supply, such as happened recently in Flint, Michigan.

 

If you have a child exposed to lead and that child suffers from developmental, emotional, or behavioral problems, that lead exposure is an injury. You may be eligible for compensation from the person(s) responsible for exposing your child to this poison. Our experienced team of lawyers can work to ensure you and your child are properly compensated for ongoing medical treatment, special education, therapy, and the overall pain and suffering caused by this injury. To learn more about what we can do to help, give us a call today.


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