posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 11:44 AM
Here's a really interesting one (well, at least I think so), that I thought would interest many of my fellow ATSers, though I did not really know
what forum it best belonged to.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Basically, this article sums up extensive research which shows heavy correlation between exposure to levels of lead (Pb) and levels of criminality.
The graphic representation is amazingly convincing in and of itself, but if that was not enough ... and it probably wasn't from a scientific point of
view. (Correlation does not equate to causation right?)
A team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati has been following a group of 300 children for more than 30 years and recently performed a
series of MRI scans that highlighted the neurological differences between subjects who had high and low exposure to lead during early childhood.
This study found that:
high exposure to lead during childhood was linked to a permanent loss of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex—a part of the brain associated with
aggression control as well as what psychologists call "executive functions": emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, verbal reasoning, and
Fascinating... it may also prove that some people may actually be born evil. (But that is probably for another thread!)
And, of course, the title is snazzy, but, as the cause is environmental, borders do not matter, and lead was used everywhere so this is by no means
concentrated in the U.S.A.
Nevin collected lead data and crime data for Australia and found a close match. Ditto for Canada. And Great Britain and Finland and France and Italy
and New Zealand and West Germany. Every time, the two curves fit each other astonishingly well. When I spoke to Nevin about this, I asked him if he
had ever found a country that didn't fit the theory. "No," he replied. "Not one."
The author does add a semblance of conspiracy to the mix:
But if all of this solves one mystery, it shines a high-powered klieg light on another: Why has the lead/crime connection been almost completely
ignored in the criminology community?
My own sense is that interest groups probably play a crucial role: Political conservatives want to blame the social upheaval of the '60s for the rise
in crime that followed. Police unions have reasons for crediting its decline to an increase in the number of cops. Prison guards like the idea that
increased incarceration is the answer. Drug warriors want the story to be about drug policy. If the actual answer turns out to be lead poisoning, they
all lose a big pillar of support for their pet issue. And while lead abatement could be big business for contractors and builders, for some reason
their trade groups have never taken it seriously.
There we have it, big money interest trumps well-being once again.