We have known since Biblical times that lead is poisonous, especially to children whose light weight and growing minds make them particularly susceptible to lead exposure. One of my current heroes. Dr. Michael Greger, has just started a series of short videos on lead, what we knew and when we knew it, what to do about lead poisoning, and other salient and important issues to the modern world. His first video in the series, which can be found here, tells a tale all too common in our capitalist society, an industry digging in its heels against regulation to profit as long as it can, selling poisons to the uneducated masses. We’ve seen this before with the tobacco industry, and we see it now with the naysayers on climate change and the egregious behavior of Monsanto.
When science points to something bad that is happening and we can ameliorate the problem, a civilized society will address it. Note that Europe banned lead in 1909 (we did it in 1978) and has banned Roundup for years. But in corporate America, industry is king. We are bound to keep repeating the tobacco story in myriad different arenas unless we choose to learn from our past mistakes. There should be outrage, but there is barely a whimper.