On Lead, violent behavior, and America today

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 07/11/2006 - 10:16.

Do you realize that "The removal of lead from gasoline in 1990, regarded by many as one of the major public health triumphs of the 20th century, had an immediate impact. Between 1976 and 1994, the mean blood lead concentration in children dropped from 13.7 mcg/dL to 3.2 mcg/dL, in direct proportion to the amount of tetraethyl lead produced. One could want no clearer testimony to the efficacy of a well-conceived and consistently applied public health policy." Further, "there is a dose response relationship between lead in bones and self reported delinquent behavior in children - grounds for an arrest" and "study of prisoners in Cincinnati finds strong relationship between bone lead and number of arrests" and "statistical analysis of lead in environment vs. murder rate 21 years later is very powerful". So violent and irational behavior is an outcome of lead poisoning. Beyond the statistical proof of how this impacts society, and each of us, REALNEO's Phillip and I have seen the impact in a clinical setting, by visiting the Lead Clinic at MetroHealth and speaking with patients there, and their families, and our observations were highly disturbing.




The patients who come to the clinic have received notice their children's blood tests indicate elevated lead levels. The reactions of the parents seem to range from ignorant indifference to ignorant panic - all ignorant to the sources of lead poison around them and the harm it has caused their families. Clearly no parents understand what they are dealing with, other than unhealthy children.

The director of the clinic, a Florence Nightingale meets Mother Teresa Pediatric Nurse Practitioner named Roberta Anderson, RN, CPNP, shows such love and skill in her work with these families and children that she must be recognized as one of the great humanitarians of this region - in addition to directing the MetroHealth Lead Clinic, she Co-Chairs the Medical Subcommittee of the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) and is on the Board of Directors of Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead (CCOAL), for which she is not compensated, so her commitment to service and the public health of Northeast Ohio exceeds that of any person I've met in the medical community, and she should be viewed as a role model for all doctors and nurses here to follow - they should challenge themselves to donate so much of their time to public health.

The MetroHealth Lead Clinic was established out of the settlement of a law suit of lead poisoned victims against the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority, providing funding for five years, which is about to run out. In the mean time, Roberta schedules meetings with Elevated Blood Level lead victims and their parents to attempt to determine the causes of the poisoning, through constructive discussions with the parents, advises on how to eliminate further lead exposure in the victim's life. provides free cleaning supplies and vitamins (photo below), evaluates the condition and medical needs of the patient, including closely monitoring their medical data on a very powerful Patient Medical Records System called EPIC, prescribes treatment, and schedules follow-up medical interventions and the application of other social services as required for the health of the child.

In the process, she sees the impact of lead poisoning in the trenches, of which Phillip and I got a glimpse through a three hour visit to the clinic and discussions with patients and their parents. My observations include that children are so beautiful and wonderful, and that lead poisoning changes them dramatically for life, and that this has a huge impact on their families. What impacts on the children?... Violent outbursts, uncontrollable behavior,  slowed mental development... tragedy. What impacts on the family... having to deal with that for life.

I share this with readers of realneo to raise your awareness of the direct harm of this toxic substance, and to make you think about the fact that if you were born before leaded gasoline was outlawed, in 1990, you were lead poisoned from birth - probably around 13 mcg/dl, which is far above a safe level - and you have physical and mental capacity damage, including reduced I.Q. and a tendency to violent and irational behavior. If, in addition to that, you have lived in a house built before 1978, when leaded paint was outlawed, you were probably exposed to lead dust, lead chips and further brain and other physical damage. If you renovated any of such a house - sanded a window sill or door, for example - or even have refinished old lead painted furniture, you probably exposed yourself and everyone around you to very high levels of lead, which will impact you and those you poisoned until they die. Something to think about, at least in making your life choices going forward, and in rationalizing the behavior of those around you, in work and pleasure. Most of us are lead poisoned, and we are not in control of our lives anymore. 





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I am amazed

I find the whole idea that the government knows the effects of Lead on our community and does so little.  I can only hope that there is some shocking and knowledge shifting event or marketing campaign that puts this deadly killer in it's deserving light.

Elevating awareness of elevated lead levels

At this stage, good governments are suing the paint and lead industry - in process in 26 state so far - and Jones Day is defending for the paint and lead industry, including lead defendant Sherwin Williams. That Sherwin Williams and Jones Day are based in Cleveland is a major reason for our problem here in Northeast Ohio, as mainstream media and the "sustainability" movement here don't want to piss-off these powerhouse local advertisers, employers and industrial power-brokering community rulers. So the blame here must be shared by many. The solution, so far, is GCLAC, CCOAL and REALNEO, unless lead-friends Peter Holmes and Jones Day can completely destroying that, in which case I'll move the public awareness campaign to http://7gen.us

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Don't miss 2006 Lead Awareness Rally July 19: downtown Cleveland

Lead Awareness March from Public Square to Mall C, and Lead Education Rally

Start: 2006/07/19 - 10:30am
End: 2006/07/19 - 12:30pm

July 17 – 21 is Ohio Lead Awareness Week. We would like to invite you to participate in the March for Lead Safe Living. This event is planned by the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council to make people aware of the issues of childhood lead poisoning, and to let people know that we can do a better job in eliminating these problems. The Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council, co-chaired by the Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, along with over fifty community partners, is committed to eliminating childhood lead poisoning by the year 2010.

Lead poisoning is one of the most serious public health concerns facing children in Cuyahoga County. In Cuyahoga County, nearly 2000 children fell victim to lead poisoning in 2004! Brain damage, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, trouble paying attention, and aggressive and violent behavior are just a few of the future-robbing effects of lead poisoning.

On Wednesday, July 19th, from 10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., there will be a gathering of people from the many walks of life expressing their support to end childhood lead poisoning in the Greater Cleveland area.

Lead poisoning can be prevented and we want every concerned citizen to express their support to prevent and end lead poisoning. Won’t you join us at Public Square on July 19th. People will gather at Public Square at 10:30 A.M. for a rally. We will then walk to Mall C by Cleveland’s City Hall and hear community voices about the impact of lead to our neighborhoods and our children. A lead awareness health fair will end the March in Mall C.

Please join us on July 19 for the March for Lead Safe Living. Our children all deserve Lead Safe Living. We need your voice. We need your support. For more information please contact me at 216.664.4676.

Cordially, Christine Haley Medina - Director, Lead Safe Living Campaign

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Will “I Was a Victim of Lead Poisoning as a Child” be Next L

Will “I Was a Victim of Lead Poisoning as a Child” be Next Legal Defense for Murder?

by Kenny Luna, North Babylon, NY on 11.30.07
If you’re involved with the legal field or expect to one day serve on a jury you just may find yourself coming up an intriguing defense in the future, lead poisoning. It turns out that there’s a growing body of research linking the level of lead in the blood of preschoolers with crime rates later in life.
Particularly murder.
Of course it may take awhile for that excuse to reach the courtroom, but I don’t doubt for even a second that some legal whiz will try it. Because according to the research accomplished by tracking blood levels and violent crime in Canada, Britain, the US and several other industrialized countries over several decades, exposure to lead during the first few years of life leads to lower IQ scores. And when combined with other research that shows a strong association between low IQ and criminal behavior, the potential for such a defense emerges.
Intriguingly, by looking at different countries and analyzing each of their police strategies, economic conditions and other factors associated with crime, researchers like Richard Nevin were able to further bring to light the link between crime and lead. For instance, each country phased out lead in gasoline, plumbing and paint at different times, providing a rigorous test that shows a high degree of likelihood that lead poisoning can influence violent crime rates.
And researchers also pointed out the fact that removing lead from gasoline, plumbing and paint was a huge public health success that also happened to inadvertently reduce crime at the same time.

Reasonable defense

I've thought much about the impact on society of all the lead poisoned people but not about the personal tragedy faced by those lead poisoned throughout life. How do you repay the man who was lead poisoned as a child (and adult) and so has mental problems that result in lower quality of life and often prison... more than a defense after the fact, this should be grounds for personal injury litigation... as should medical and social problems resulting from poisoning from pollutants from Mittal.

As the tide of public outrage grows against irresponsible industrial leadership and governance, it is safe to say corps like Mittal and Sherwin Williams and their counsel will face more than lawsuits, likely including executions.

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