Cities like Baltimore Still Suffer from the Toxic Legacy of Lead Contamination
More than a decade before Freddie Gray suffered a fatal injury while in custody of the Baltimore Police Department, the Maryland native was allegedly the victim of the neurotoxin that contaminated the walls and windows in the dilapidated home where he grew up, according to a report in the Washington Post. For those exposed to lead as children when their brains are still developing, the poisoning can be devastating. The cognitive effects of lead poisoning include diminished intelligence, shortened attention span and increased risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to The Mount Sinai Hospital's Philip Landrigan, MD, who did pioneering research in the 1970s on the health effects of lead. "Unfortunately, it's permanent," he said. "The human brain displays very little capacity to repair itself once it's damaged."
- Dr. Philip Landrigan, Professor and System Chair, Preventive Medicine, Professor, Pediatrics, Dean for Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai