While visiting the University of Chicago recently
with my alum daughter, I picked up a free
publication put out six times a year by the U of C.
The University of Chicago Magazine is a serious,
scientific and cultural institution for, by and about
students and alums of this great school boasting
more Nobel Laureates than many entire nations.
The May/June 2015 issue of the magazine includes
a must-read article entitled "Immeasurable" in their
regular Legacy column. U of C alum geochemist
Claire C. Patterson was instrumental in waging war
against lead pollution. Without his research and
concomitant fearless grit, cars would still spew
out this tragically dangerous neurotoxin into our air.
Lead pollution is still, sadly, being produced by
utilities, factories, mines and smelters. As Newton
Second Law theorist chemist Henry Bent has pointed
out, there is no "away". Whatever we have created
on this planet remains here, even if in a different form
...So what are the results of exposure to lead, whether
through the respiratory ingestion pathway or through
the G.I. tract?
(1) Because lead is toxic to every organ system in the
human body, particularly childrens', extra exposure is
to be avoided at all costs. The brain's prefrontal cortex
and the brain as a whole are primarily vulnerable. The
damage includes deficits to learning, judgement and
(2) Now for my supposition: All this lead accumulating
in our brains (-along with all the other assorted poisons we
routinely ingest) MAY WELL account for all the increase
in insanity/violence we observe on the news and in person.
How can anyone escape this horrifying conclusion?
Our ourselves and our world: more poisoned than ever,
crazier than ever.
P.S.: my sources: The University of Chicago Magazine,
May/June 2015; the National Institutes of Health,
Neurotoxic Effects and Biomarkers of Lead Exposure,
January 2009; The EPA, "Learn about Lead".