Tuesday, May 25, 2004


I knew it! Like many things that are poisonous in large doses, lead has hormetic effects (i.e. small doses are actually good for you). See the last paragraph below. On 14th April I also noted here that another heavy metal excoriated by the Greenies -- mercury -- seems to have hormetic effects too

"Last January, the Washington Post revealed that corroding lead pipes were contaminating the city's drinking water. Officials at the local Water and Sewer Authority had known about the lead in the water since 2002 and had quietly notified those whose drinking water had been found to have elevated lead levels. But it was after the Post "broke" the story that Washingtonians evinced the type of righteous indignation that often accompanies perceived cases of bureaucratic indifference to the public's health......

First, a bit of history is in order. Lead has been used for thousands of years for everything from bullets to fancy crystal tableware to water pipes. Today, lead is integral to umpteen useful products: the bibs that shield you from X-rays, the screen on your computer, the battery in your car. Given its wide use, lead is ubiquitous—found in air, soil, dust, paint, and water contaminated by corroding pipes. (Lead dust and lead paint are considered the most prevalent source of contamination.) Therefore, humans can't really avoid inhaling or ingesting it.....

In D.C., it's unclear whether lead in the water is affecting children's blood-lead levels. Not every District child has been tested, but of the 1,692 kids under age 6 who were evaluated as of late-April, 35—2.1 percent of those tested—had blood-lead levels higher than 10 micrograms per deciliter. Among the 13 children living in houses where the water-lead levels were more than 20 times the EPA-threshold, none had elevated blood-lead levels....

A 1994 roundup of those lead-IQ studies that did take these factors into account concluded that a rise in lead blood-levels from, say, 10 micrograms per deciliter to 20 might indeed cause a "small" IQ deficit of perhaps one to two points in childhood.....

Furthermore, though lead is one of the most studied environmental toxins, the literature is suggestive, but not necessarily conclusive.... And a 2003 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, counterintuitively suggested that blood-lead levels below 10 micrograms per deciliter, the CDC threshold, might somehow lead to more dramatic IQ deficits than those above 10 micrograms per deciliter."

More here. See also my post of 22nd. April.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

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