Does lead lead to everything bad?

That lead is bad for you is not a new hypothesis, but its long-term effects merit closer scrutiny

A crumbling lead contamination warning sign.
(Image credit: Thinkstock)

I'm skeptical of monocausal explanations for almost anything.

So I was not prepared to be impressed after reading an essay, "America's Criminal Element: Lead", from Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. He posits that a growing mountain of evidence suggests that one factor, and one factor alone, might well account for crime patterns in the United States since the middle of the last century. For incarceration rates. For abortion rates. For lots of bad things. It accounts even for variation of said patterns within neighborhoods, among races and genders and between classes.

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