Lead & Crime: Latest

Or, Getting the Lead Out As I think I probably mentioned in my first blog posting about lead, lead as an issue took me totally by surprise. 

If you know absolutely zip about it (or nearly zip), as I did, please do consider looking over the postings about lead on this blog, all grouped under the heading ‘Lead.’ There is even one called Lead 101: Nukes & Lead – 10 things – about 10 things these 2 exceedingly nasty issues have in common.

Lead has been in the news lately – seems there have been several articles about the link between lowered levels of crime & lowered levels of lead in the environment.

In other words, some very determined people did a heck of a lot of study & work on a very nasty, very stubborn issue, & some things got better (slowly, ever so slowly).

This is how changing the world proceeds! Folks learn stuff, they spread the word, other folks get involved & get passionate, & voilà! After a boatload of work & energy & cooperation & slogging, stuff changes.


(No, I am not a stupid, mindless optimist. Just a very determined activist. There’s a difference!)

So, here are the links I invite you to visit in order to learn what’s being said lately about lead (with many thanks to KO for sending this info my way!!).


See Kevin Drum’s mind-shifting article on association between lead & crime featured recently in Mother Jones.

Link to interview ‘The Lead Hypothesis’ on MSNBC with Drum. Good summary of points + discussion of political, social & economic barriers blocking progress to eradicate childhood lead poisoning.

Fabulous commentary on Drum's article by George Monbiot in the UK Guardian (January 7, 2013). “Yes, lead poisoning could really be a cause of crime.”

K. says: Monbiot systematically reviews each of the scientific studies referenced in Drum's article & concludes there is solid evidence for a link between widespread exposure to a known & undisputed neurotoxin (leaded gasoline) & the rise & fall in violent crime rates, a trend seen worldwide. Monbiot further notes that Innospec, based in Ellesmere Port in Britain, is the “only one remaining manufacturer of tetraethyl lead on earth.” Even though leaded gasoline was banned in the UK due to decades of research clearly showing its serious health impacts on children's brain & nervous system development, Innospec continues to profit from exporting tetraethyl lead to Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Iraq, North Korea, Sierra Leone & Yemen – countries Monbiot describes as “afflicted either by chaos or places governed by those who don't give a damn about their people.”

This is all information we all need to know!!


p.s. thanks to KO for most of this blog posting & for being my own personal professor of Lead!  Thanks also to George Monbiot for his research on this topic & his subsequent article – & to all the others all over the world who have worked so very hard on this issue, some over many decades.   

p.p.s. Great book to check out!! There's Lead in Your Lipstick - Toxins in our everyday body care & how to avoid them, by Gillian Deacon.

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “The inordinately stupid & irresponsible handling of lead by our society is undoubtedly one of the worst of societal crimes, with the greatest injury & hence injustice concentrating in the ghetto, on the poor.” – Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., in ”Irrevy” – An Irreverent, Illustrated View of Nuclear Power (Gofman posts on this blog here & here, & a ton of great quotations from him here)

Runners-up for Q of the day: “Lead moves us down the stupid scale & doesn’t let us come back.” – Stephen Collette, environmental building consultant & certified building biologist

“No matter how far you’ve gone down a wrong road, TURN BACK!” – Source unknown