Does lead poisoning lead to a life of crime? It may sound like a ridiculous notion at first glance, but the Pennsylvania Capital-Star recently published an article that raises exactly this question. Although lead paint was banned from use almost half a century ago, nearly 10,000 children are still diagnosed with lead poisoning every year. These shocking numbers should come as no surprise, given the number of houses that still contain lead-based paint. According to the article, 70% of Pennsylvania's housing supply was built before the paint was banned. Of course, lead isn't just found in old houses but can also occur in contaminated drinking water and other unsuspecting places.
Lead Poisoning and Behavioral Health
The nexus between crime and lead-based paint becomes more apparent when you begin to understand the behavioral issues lead poisoning can cause. As the article notes, “Children in one study who were exposed to lead in early childhood committed, on average, nearly five more delinquent acts as adolescents than their peers who were not exposed to lead as children.”
There even appears to be a correlation between lead exposure and juvenile incarceration rates.
The types of behavior issues that can occur after lead poisoning include:
- Developmental issues
- Increased agitation or irritability
- Learning delays
In addition to these behavioral concerns, children experiencing lead poisoning can exhibit physical symptoms that worsen issues with comfort and general well-being.
Of course, just because a child is exposed to lead doesn't mean they're going to end up at odds with law enforcement during their life, but it could certainly increase their risks. Importantly, it's critical to understand that there could still be plenty of opportunity for behavioral intervention after lead exposure, but experts believe the best remedy is to mitigate the risk of lead exposure to begin with.
Can Lead Poisoning be a Defense to a Crime?
While there are a variety of environmental or socioeconomic factors that can affect a person's life and lead them to make bad or criminal decisions, those factors aren't adequate defenses in a court of law. Similarly, if you or someone you love was a victim of lead poisoning, they aren't going to be able to claim this injury as a defense to any crime they committed. Instead, you'll need to rely on trusted and sophisticated legal defenses.
Speak with a PA Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, please contact experienced Pennsylvania defense attorney Joseph D. Lento right away. The dedicated team at the Lento Law Firm always prioritizes communication and tireless advocacy on your behalf. To learn how attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or contact us online today.