former employee of the EPA charges the US government with turning a blind eye
to the systematic poisoning of America's food supply, animals, water, and
"The National Road was the first
federally funded highway, built from 1811 to 1834.
It had heavy daily
traffic that included thousands of Conestoga wagons, the "tractor-trailer" of
Those wagons, designed to carry heavy freight, passed through
farm areas from Baltimore to Illinois, close to major lead mines in Southeast
The reason the red
barn tradition never took root along that path is likely because the
National Road made freight, including white lead, accessible to nearby farmers.
USA lead output was a relatively stable 1000 to 2000 tons per year from
1801-1825, but lead output was 15,000 to 30,000 tons per year from the
mid-1830s through the mid-1860s after the completion of the National
The murder arrest rate
in large cities was more than seven times the national homicide rate from
1900-1904 because lead paint in the 1870s was available in large cities but
unavailable in most rural areas.
The early-1900s convergence in rural
and urban murder rates was presaged by a late-1800s convergence in rural and
urban lead paint exposure.
Almost all children born in the USA from
1880-1980 were exposed to lead contaminated dust, but with widely varying
degrees of lead poisoning severity.
Atmospheric emissions from gas lead
affected blood lead even in rural areas, but traffic caused more severe city
exposure because 55% of emissions settled within 12 miles of the roadway." -
May 1925 "US Surgeon General called a national
conference, to be followed by the formation of an investigative task force to
study the problem.
That same year, Midgley published his first health
analysis of tetraethyllead,
which acknowledged a minor health risk at
most, insisting that the use of lead compounds, "compared with other
chemical industries it is neither grave nor inescapable." - Deborah Blum
The task force choses to downplay the risks and Thomas Midgley is
chosen for the white lead whitewash.
Thomas Midgleys inventions
include antiknock agents, with tetraethyl lead being the principal one
of them used in his leaded gasoline; the extraction of bromine from sea water;
and the use of fluorine to produce refrigerating compounds.
Midgley Jr. contributed to the poisoning of three generations of children,
increased the risk of skin cancer and other skin problems related to exposure
to UV rays, and contributed greatly to global warming.
1926 Public health service released its report which concluded
that there was "no danger" posed by adding TEL to gasoline
" no reason to
prohibit the sale of leaded gasoline" as long as workers were well protected
during the manufacturing process.
There was a huge drop in violence when
TEL is removed from gasoline.
government designates Picher and Cardin, Oklahoma as a Tar Creek Superfund
Take a Tour of Americas Most Toxic Town
1990 In amendments to the Clean Air Act, lead is banned from
gasoline and to be completely phase out within five years.
1993 63% of the children of Picher, Oklahoma are suffering
from lead poisoning.
Kids ride their bikes up and down the chat
Kids drink the water contaminated with lead.
Picher is a ghost
town, a stalwart few have remained to keep watch over the remaining
buildings and homes. These self-proclaimed "chat rats" live with the ghost of a
town that once was. For them, Picher is the only home they've known and their
hometown pride is unshakable. Toxic air, sinking ground, and tornadoes can't
drive them out." - Bobbie Jean Sawyer
Jeremy Bryan Jones: Profile of a Chat Rat
FBI Computer Error Possibly Fatal
January 1, 1996 Clean Air Act bans the sale of the small
amount of leaded fuel still available in some parts of the country for use in
states fuel containing lead may continue to be sold for off-road uses,
including aircraft, racing cars, farm equipment, and marine
2002 New York City lead poisoning
identified in 4,000 children under age and over 500 lead poisoning cases
identified in children ages 6 to 17.
California health officials
estimate that 15% of the states' children diagnosed with elevated lead levels
between May 2001 and January 2002 were exposed to lead from candy,
pottery and folk medicines
DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) becomes aware of
the lead levels in 2002, but does not notify customers until November 2003.
Lead supply pipes feed many older single family homes of which over 150
had lead levels of over 300 ppb. The federal safety level is 15
2004 Researchers at Columbia University have
found that "babies exposed to high levels of lead in the womb are more than
twice as likely to develop
EPA data analyzed by the Washington
Post identified 274 utilities serving some 11.5 million people who
reported unsafe lead in drinking water since 2000.
analysis also showed that
municipalities across the nation, Boston, Philadelphia, Lansing, New York and
Washington DC, are masking the true levels of lead in
A study at
Harvard Medical School found a link to lead exposure and the development
of cataracts in men over 60.
The study found that men who had the
highest lead levels were 2.7 times more likely to have cataracts than those
with the lowest levels.
2005 One in five children
tested in Cleveland, Ohio is lead poisoned and in some neighborhoods 50% of the
children suffer from lead poisoning.
Hirschberg Schultz & Co. Inc.,
2.8 million metal charms sold in Arts & Craft stores after a 6 year old
California girl was lead poisoned after putting one in her mouth.
charms, sold as decorations for greeting cards and gift bags as well as for
necklaces and bracelets, were manufactured in China.
State of North
Carolina recorded its first case of lead poisoning caused by lead in household
The source of the lead is believed to be household
Wisconsin Supreme Court found that "...the record is replete
with evidence that shows the pigment manufacturers actually magnified the risk
[of lead poisoning] through their aggressive promotion of white lead carbonate,
even despite the awareness of the toxicity of lead."
Defendants in this
case include: American Cyanamid, Atlantic Richfield, ConAgra,
DuPont, National Lead, SCM
Chemicals (Hanson Limited, formerly Hanson PLC1) and
Island estimates that over 36,000 children in the state have lead poisoning.
Third Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that successor companies can be
held liable for cleanup costs caused by polluting activities of acquired
The court found US Battery Corp. liable for
lead contaminated soil at five dumpsites
in Pennsylvania where companies acquired by the firm dumped wastes from the
1930s through 1966.
2006 California's Attorney
General joins environmental groups in a lawsuit against retailers and
distributors of children's jewelry after discoveries that the jewelry contained
lead levels as high as 950,000 parts per million.
the lawsuit by agreeing to pay $1.87 million.
The settlement also
called for the companies to stop selling jewelry with high lead content no
later than 3/1/08.
The settlement sets strict standards for the lead
level in children's' jewelry. Metal elements and coatings will be limited to
600 parts of lead per million.
Plastic components will be limited to
200 parts of lead per million.
"A new study in women 65 and older
indicates that the more lead circulating in the blood of golden girls, the
higher the likelihood these women will die prematurely." - Janet Raloff
April 25, 2014 Officials looking to save
money switched Flint, Michigans drinking water supply from the Detroit
city system to the Flint River.
This Flint River water is highly
Flint residents complain about dark-colored, foul-tasting,
smelly water as well as skin rashes and hair loss.
find a significant proportion of samples have lead levels well above the
"action level" set by the EPA.
Some samples show lead levels 100 times
above the action level.
9,000 children are exposed to lead contaminated
1996 Several journalists felt the breakup of Hanson PLC marked the end
of the conglomerate era.
Quantum and SCM was demerged as Millennium
Chemicals Inc., a primarily UK-based operation; and the tobacco group was
demerged as Tobacco Group PLC, primarily UK-based.
February 24, 1997 Energy group demerged as The Energy Group
PLC, which was comprised mainly of the UK-based Eastern Electricity and the
US-based coal producer Peabody.
This left Hanson PLC as primarily a building materials
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forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality
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