Outraged, Obligated, & Optimistic
Jul 27, 2015 - 02:15pm
David Dyjack, DrPH, CIH
Mr. Gray’s arrest and death recently gave rise to civil disturbance in Baltimore, Maryland. Over 200 adults and 30 juveniles were arrested while 20 police officers were injured during just one night’s violence. The Baltimore mayor’s office reported the city’s fire department responded to fires in 144 vehicles and 15 buildings. If this chaos and human tragedy were not enough, an article in the Washington Post reported that during his youth Mr. Gray suffered from residential environmental lead exposures leading to blood lead levels of 37 ?g/dL. As a point of reference, blood lead levels above 5 ?g/dL are believed to lead to diminished cognitive function, among other poor life outcomes. We may never know if this elevated dose at a young age predisposed him to behavior that led to his incarceration. Nonetheless the deck was stacked against him. Why wasn’t this well-known environmental hazard abated long ago?
Read the DirecTalk Column in Full:
Journal of Environmental Health
Volume 78, No 1 July/August 2015
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