Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers: Toxic Lead Paint Injuries to ChildrenJuly 6, 2015
Before his death following spinal injuries he sustained while in police custody, Freddie Gray’s life was defined by academic failures, a tendency towards aggressive behavior, and run-ins with the law. Many of these problems began when he was a child living in one of Baltimore City’s poorest neighborhoods. During that time, Gray was one of tens of thousands of children exposed to toxic lead paint.
Studies have shown that exposure to lead is still the most significant and widespread environmental hazard for children in Maryland. Every year, thousands of Maryland children test positive for high levels of lead. The risk of exposure to lead is particularly high in Baltimore City where, despite being banned in 1978 because of health concerns, lead paint still covers the walls of many older buildings. Not surprisingly, homes in the City’s poorest neighborhoods are most at risk.
At the time when Freddie Gray lived there, between 1992 and 1996, health officials only tested children for blood lead levels above 20 mcg/dl. During that time they estimated that approximately 13,000 children in Baltimore suffered lead poisoning from paint. However, it is now known that the effects of lead exposure to children begin at much lower levels. Some estimate that by today’s standards, three times as many children would have been considered in danger at the time when Freddie Gray was exposed.
Exposure to Lead Paint
Prior to being banned in the late 1970s, lead paint was used on interior and exterior walls of residences because of its durability and other qualities. Over time, however, the paint deteriorates, and becomes a part of the dust and soil in and around homes, making it very difficult to abate. Young children are at particular risk, because they tend to play in these areas, and their normal hand to mouth behavior causes them to ingest the lead dust. Additionally, because their brain is still developing, children are at the highest risk of suffering the effects of exposure to lead.
Chronic, early exposure to lead has been linked to damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and hearing; decreased bone and muscle growth; diminished IQ and cognitive function; learning disabilities; and problems with attention and impulse control. Newer studies have found a correlation between lead exposure and an increased tendency toward antisocial behaviors, including aggression, violence, and crime. Though rare, acute exposure to high levels of lead could lead to brain swelling, seizures, coma or, in some cases, death.
Property owners and landlords have a duty to inspect their properties and make them safe for those who live there. Sadly, many ignore this responsibility in favor of saving a few dollars. The resulting harm suffered by children has the potential to affect every aspect of their life. These victims have a right to pursue justice and compensation.
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers of LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Families Suffering From Exposure to Lead Paint
If you suspect your child has been exposed to toxic lead paint, Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We are strong advocates for the rights and protections of children in Baltimore and will work tirelessly to hold property owners accountable for their willful disregard for the lives of their tenants. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete an online contact form today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skilled Baltimore personal injury lawyers.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Maryland, and represents victims of lead poisoning in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Towson, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.