The cause of crime: exposure to lead

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  • DR Hampton Portage, MI
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Lead has long been known as an environmental contaminant and health risk. Beethoven died from lead poisoning, which first caused him to go deaf. Lead poisoning has been suggested as one factor in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. Lead levels in baby teeth in inner-city Atlanta were shown to correlate with decreased IQ test scores. Lead also causes impotence in men and AD/HD-like symptoms in children. Years ago, before the EPA banned the use of tetra ethyl lead as an octane booster in gasoline, I turned down renting a nice home which was near a freeway because I didn't want my children dosed with lead. The EPA ban on lead in gasoline is probably the best thing they have ever done for human health and the environment. We should expect that reduced lead levels in the environment has reduced the number of brain-damaged individuals, some of whom become criminals. Now, if we could just reduce mercury levels in the environment, much more good would be done.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    Yes, as it turns out, the number of toilets in your house/apartment/condo also is a predictor of likelihood of criminal activity.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    The dangers of lead poisoning are well known. Our will to avoid lead poisoning is pretty weak though.

    Coal fired electricity plants loft it into the air with other heavy metals contained in coal when it's burned and even the gun shooting crowd exposes themselves and their families to lead dust from shooting but they don't really talk about it much.

    The primers have lead compounds that vaporize, the heat vaporizes a small amount of the back of the bullet when fired and bullets fragment and small amounts of lead dust are created in every shot. All of that make indoor rages particularly led fouled, it get on your cloths and you take it home to your kids you are practicing to protect.

    That's just one of the many reasons guns are a terrible defense strategy.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Correlation does not prove causation.

    Instead of seeking excuses in chemistry, debatable as lead was even more prevalent in prior generations, one should look at some other factors:

    Mainly, the destruction of the traditional American family, the decay of the work ethic, the rise of the liberal welfare plantation with its plethora of excuses for failure, and the lack of consequences for small transgressions thanks to Dr. Spock and his child rearing recommendations. And, there are huge demographic factors that cannot be denied, although political correctness discourages their mere mention.

    But, really, "Mother Jones" magazine as the stimulus for an article of this sort is supposed to be taken seriously?