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The Unforgivable Story of Lead

The Unforgivable Story of Lead

How unregulated lead exposure stole 1 billion I.Q points from Americans
people riding red and white vintage car during daytime
Photo by Endri Killo on Unsplash

Knock Knock, let's put some poison in your car to stop that sound.

A little more than seventy-five years ago, General Motors, Du Pont and Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) got together and put lead, a known poison, into gasoline.


The staggering result?

They diminished the IQ of half of the U.S population around 1988 with close to one billion IQ points.

To make this number more tangible;

  • A 1985 EPA study estimated that as many as 5,000 Americans died annually from lead-related heart disease before the country’s lead phaseout (between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s)

  • A total of about 68 million young children had toxic exposures to lead from gasoline from 1927 to 1987

  • More than 54 per cent of Americans alive in 2015 had been exposed to dangerous levels of lead as children.

  • Researchers estimate leaded gas has reduced the nation’s cumulative IQ score by 824 million points, nearly three points per person.

And that’s just the average.

So who’s dumb here? And who got away?

For more than four decades, all scientific research regarding the health implications of leaded gasoline was underwritten and controlled by the original lead cabal–Du Pont, GM and Standard Oil; such research invariably favored the industry’s pro-lead views, but was from the outset fatally flawed; independent scientists who would finally catch up with the earlier work’s infirmities and debunk them were–and continue to be–threatened and defamed by the lead interests and their hired hands — The Nation

Ringg Ringgg, Rings a bell?

This is the unforgivable story of the lead. Will we ever learn from history?

What is lead?

Lead is poison.

A potent neurotoxin whose deadly effects have been known for nearly 3,000 years.

It's mentioned by historical figures from the Greek poet and physician Nikander and the Roman architect Vitruvius to Benjamin Franklin.

Odourless, colorless and tasteless, lead can be detected only through chemical analysis. Unlike killers like pesticides, most chemicals, waste oils and even radioactive materials, lead does not break down over time. It does not vaporize.

It never disappears.

Lead: A neurotoxin exposure that affects all parts of society relatively equally and has the power to move the entire curve of IQ and social status of a nation downward.

“If everyone takes a hit from environmental pollutants, society as a whole suffers.” — Avshalom Caspi, Professor at Duke

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Why DuPont chose lead over Ethanol

The initial problem was birthed when GM’s 1912 Cadillac was equipped with DELCO’s self-starter and battery ignition. Customers reported that the engine of this luxury automobile had an alarming tendency to knock–a sharp, metallic sound hinting at the damage being done inside the engine.

As a solution, for around a decade, GM used ethanol as an octane-boosting additive to solve the knock. It could be mixed with gasoline. Ethanol is abundant and easy to make. It has a long history in America, also as pure fuel. The prototype internal combustion engine in 1826 used alcohol and turpentine.

Why the switch to TEL: Lead Tetraethyl?

Du Pont, that got rich from gunpowder profits from WOI, got quite a share in GM, and insisted on a new product it could patent. Another issue GM faced was that any idiot with a still could make ethanol at home; in those days, many did.

They put a time constraint of two years on their leading researcher, Midgley. He claimed to have tested many compounds before isolating TEL in December 1921. The number of substances tested to solve the Knock Knock problem had never been published. The lab’s day-to-day test diaries have never been released to the public by the General Motors Institute (GMI) archive

Midgley claimed to have researched up to 33.000 compounds. A 1980 Ethyl corporation statement indicates 144 is a more realistic number. Worries by chemical watchdogs were dismissed.

The US Public Health Service wrote that trials would be too time-consuming

What they did next is unbelievable and still happening today when it comes to injecting poison into humanity and its planet:

The PHS’s Division of Pharmacology director suggested that the PHS rely upon the industry to supply the relevant data. This spectacularly poor plan would amount to government policy for the next forty years.

Midgley resigned due to lead poisoning and retreated to Miami to catch a large supply of fresh air.

Lead Tetraethyl, the deadly chemical curiosity, was being brought to market without any thought or study as to its public health implications, but rather on the hopeful hunch of a clever mechanical engineer who had just been poisoned by lead — The Nation

In February 1923, the world’s first tankful of leaded gasoline was pumped at Refiners Oil Company, at the corner of Sixth and Main streets, in Dayton.

What has it done to Americans?

For sure, it made half of the American population dumber.

…more than 54 percent of Americans alive in 2015 had been exposed to dangerous levels of lead as children — Science

They had toxic exposures to lead from gasoline from 1927 to 1987. What did this do?

A total loss of 824 million I.Q points. And that’s a conservative number. The average number per person is close to 3 I.Q points. See the stat below. This affects social status.

People screened for blood-lead level at age 11 and IQ-tested in childhood and at age 38, reveal an association between childhood lead exposures and a decline in IQ. Higher doses led to greater losses. Adapted from: JAMA, 2017;317(12):1–8

And it's not over

In 2021, for instance, a study of over a million American children found detectable levels of lead in the blood of half the cohort.

Lead exposure is believed to lead to cardiovascular disease and dementia.

“Lead is a never-ending story,” — Sung Kyun Park, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan

What has it done to nature and the earth?

Lead poisoning is definitive by nature.

The invisible and odourless pollutant has been widely used in paints, pipes, and thus for decades, in gasoline. Let’s not fool ourselves. Enormous quantities of lead have seeped into our drinking water, airways, and homes.

Most of the estimated 7 million tons of lead burned in gasoline in the United States in the twentieth century remains–in the soil, air and water and in the bodies of living organisms. Worldwide, it is estimated that modern man’s lead exposure is 300 to 500 times greater than background or natural levels — The Nation

Lead is still used in third-world countries. And by hunters in their ammunition. Lead is still used in industrial paints on cars, bridges, and ships. Lead has also been used as a stabilizer in plastics like vinyl mini blinds.

Because lead particles travel by wind, rain and snow, which has no boundaries, lead makers knowingly injure not only local populations, but people and animals like fish tens of thousands of miles away.

Fish you eat on your plate.

Will we ever learn from History?

Here are the bullet points of what I am trying to make clear in this piece. I use lead as an example of how corporate profit has become an anti-human machine not showing any signs of slowing down. How it captures the regulators, uses fraud science, and has no human consciousness. How it poses a threat to humanity as a whole.

  • For more than four decades, all scientific research regarding the health implications of leaded gasoline was underwritten and controlled by the original lead cabal–Du Pont, GM and Standard Oil. The polluter controlled itself.

  • Such research invariably favoured the industry’s pro-lead views, and their science was, from the outset, fatally flawed.

  • Independent scientists who would finally catch up with the earlier work’s lies and tried to debunk the cabal's flawed pseudo-science–were, and continue to be–threatened and defamed by the lead interests and their hired hands.

  • The leaded gas adventurers have profitably polluted the world on a grand scale and put millions' lives at risk.

  • These perverse for-profit entities have provided a model for other twentieth-century corporate bad actors like Pharma, evading clear evidence that their products are harmful by hiding behind the mantle of scientific uncertainty — The Nation. (Or acting at the speed of science or whatever that means?)

When you look at our world today: Rings a bell?

Yes, of course, the Vaxx. The holy Jab and how we’re not allowed to talk about its dangers. How it possibly hides elements that are non-biodegradable and might cause significant harm to humanity. Like lead, it has supported and introduced by pseudo-science and when critiqued by real scientists, they get ostracized, fired and banned.

Most of all;

It has been promoted by health organizations fed by the same hands cashing in on the 1/10 ROI profits the product brings.

What to do about this?

Forget the watchdogs and regulators. Stop using the product and let’s bring the criminals to justice.

Lucien Lecarme

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