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Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:21 AM

 

About that "lead exposure caused the youth violence of the 70s-90s" research...

Interest in this theory was recently sparked by a Mother Jones article written by Kevin Drum:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

But that wasn't the first article on the topic, there were earlier ones in other venues as well...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/07/AR2007070701073.html
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16034271

All made substantial use of work done by Rick Nevin; in fact, most of the information came from Rick Nevin. And who is Rick Nevin, an epidemiologist? A health researcher?

No, he's a "Fairfax economist."

Rick Nevin is a Senior Project Manager/ Industrial Economist with Solutions. He has over 30 years' experience conducting financial, economic, housing, and environmental analyses. Mr. Nevin has a combined 22 years of experience serving as Assistant Vice President and Project Manager for Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and ICF Consulting of Fairfax, Virginia.

Over the last four years, He has worked as an independent consultant. His policy, regulatory, and research experience includes the following: project manager and principal author of the Economic Analysis of the HUD rule on lead paint hazard evaluation and reduction in federally assisted housing. Mr. Nevin developed original methodology to estimate costs and benefits per housing unit for specific types of hazard evaluation and reduction activities, and designed spreadsheet model to calculate and present regulatory costs and benefits by HUD program and age of housing unit. He designed and wrote technical appendix to proposed Federal Strategy for Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning for the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children. Mr. Nevin also developed a model to forecast housing units with lead hazards and number of children with elevated blood lead through 2020, integrating data from several housing and health surveys. He managed a strategic analysis and program evaluation for the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) initiative led by HUD; specific issues addressed included potential benefits of coordinated strategies for HUD lead hazard reduction efforts, EPA Energy Star Homes, and DOE weatherization assistance.

Additionally, Mr. Nevin particapated in several peer-reviewed studies on how trends in lead exposure have affected trends in crime and education, and how a lead-safe window replacement strategy can leverage funding for neighborhood stabilization, home energy efficiency, and lead hazard reduction to achieve multiple benefits with shared costs. Mr. Nevin holds a Masters in Finance, Managerial Economics, and Strategy from Northwestern University and a Masters in Economics and Bachelors in Economics and Mathematics from Boston University.

http://www.healthyhousingsolutions.com/AboutUs/OurStaff/RickNevin.aspx



Mellon Bank needs no introduction. ICF International is less well known and its "About" section doesn't make things any clearer (amazing how these business types can write pages of bullshit and not say anything at all):

http://www.icfi.com/about/our-purpose-and-vision

...but it appears to be a government/business consulting service, & though the specifics aren't clear, government contracts seem to figure into it:

http://investor.icfi.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=201331&p=irol-IRHome


The MJ article on lead & violence struck me as problematic in lots of ways, but the first thing that set off my bullshit detector was that the rise in violence circa 1970-1990 was significantly urban, inner-city, black, & male; so though Drum didn't mention it, that's the population mainly under discussion. Something about it reminded me of the history & racist premises of such 'research' into black males' supposedly higher predilection to violence, such as the search for genetic causes...

When I started looking at Nevin's work, I wasn't reassured: The Bell Curve is an often-cited work in all Nevin's papers on lead, & Nevin starts from the position that it's a reputable work, e.g.:

http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36569/1/Nevin_Lead_Poisoning_and_The_Bell_Curve.pdf

The Bell Curve is a *racist* book, & I'm not going to bother to debate that here, only to say that any purported 'science' that cites it is suspect.

And that's not the only thing that bothers me about Nevin. Here's the project he's currently pumping up enthusiasm for:

The Healthy Housing Strategy is designed to stabilize neighborhood home values by converting upgraded REO housing to rental units. The required upgrade - lead-safe window replacement - would increase home value, lower energy bills and related emissions, and prevent childhood lead poisoning. Some variation of the lease-to-own financing arrangements suggested in the NSHHC submission could also leverage low mortgage interest rates to provide safe and affordable rental housing with a lease-to-own option that could rapidly build home equity.

http://www.ricknevin.com/Partner_Perspectives.html


What are REO properties? Bank-owned properties. So what Nevin wants is to use public financing to replace the windows in these bank-owned properties that the banks (or the financiers currently buying up in big lots) will be renting out.

Larger Wall Street investors rushing into the REO market have raised between $6 billion and $8 billion for acquisitions, according to analysts at investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods...

Jim Previti, CEO of the private real estate investment firm Frontier Enterprises, said institutional investors buying properties in bulk are beginning to crowd out the smaller "mom and pop" firms.

http://www.housingwire.com/news/2012/09/21/investors-raise-8-billion-reo



There is something that smells bad about this.




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Reply About that "lead exposure caused the youth violence of the 70s-90s" research... (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #3
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #4
CreekDog Jan 2013 #22
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #13
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #34
fasttense Jan 2013 #21
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #28
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #37
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #2
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #6
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #8
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #9
JVS Jan 2013 #5
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #7
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #15
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #46
2on2u Jan 2013 #10
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #11
2on2u Jan 2013 #14
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #16
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #18
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #45
2on2u Jan 2013 #29
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #44
2on2u Jan 2013 #60
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #61
2on2u Jan 2013 #64
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #66
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #12
Recursion Jan 2013 #24
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #25
Recursion Jan 2013 #33
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #43
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #62
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #65
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #68
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #69
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #70
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #71
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #72
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2013 #17
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #32
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #19
Fuddnik Jan 2013 #20
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #26
Fuddnik Jan 2013 #36
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #42
Recursion Jan 2013 #23
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #30
Recursion Jan 2013 #31
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #41
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #27
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #38
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #39
quaker bill Jan 2013 #35
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #40
quaker bill Jan 2013 #53
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #54
quaker bill Jan 2013 #55
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #56
quaker bill Jan 2013 #58
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #59
jeff47 Jan 2013 #47
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #48
jeff47 Jan 2013 #49
RickNevin Jan 2013 #50
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #51
RickNevin Jan 2013 #57
rbixby Jan 2013 #52
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #63
yardwork Jan 2013 #67

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:26 AM

1. I Am Inclined To Agree, Sir: Pretty Fishy

Many angles are tried to find some way to view this that does not face up squarely to the economic and civil disintegration visited on city neighborhoods in that same period....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:31 AM

3. Indeed. There are a lot of angles; one is that attributing social problems to lead exposure means

 

you don't have to deal with things like poverty, joblessness, drug war, inequality -- and can funnel money to the finance sector in the name of lead abatement, reduction of violence, and healthier children.

Is this really the most effective way to improve children's health, especially poor black children's health? I personally doubt it very much.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:33 AM

4. Nothing Works So Good As Plenty Of Jobs At Good Pay, Sir

And everyone knows it, really, too.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:43 AM

22. and yet, lead really is a special case, because it's most prevalent source was eliminated

so you really have a way to study times with and without those levels of exposure.

just like they learned a lot about air pollution from one interesting moment in time:

when one of the most heavily polluted areas (Particulate Matter) had it's primary source go out of commission when it's workers went on a lengthy strike.

so i wouldn't necessarily dismiss it.

and far from being racist, if the causal link is the presence of lead, and the hypothesis also says that there is no natural linkage between race and crime, then that's an argument against, not for racism.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:41 AM

13. Except...

a decline in rates of violent crime after elimination of lead from gasoline was observed in multiple countries. Most of which have rather different social and economic issues to the US. America is not the world, and if there's an observed correlation that holds across multiple countries with varying social and socioeconomic conditions, then that tends to indicate that perhaps there's something in this.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:02 AM

34. "Multiple countries" = 6, all in western europe. Japan, for example, was not investigated.

 

Japan's violent crime rate went down 1945-1990, not up. Significantly. Despite the growth in automobiles and the use of leaded gas until 1970.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:41 AM

21. Because we all know what a right wing tool Mother Jones is?

But seriously? Mother Jones is out to push a Right wing meme? Really? I find that very difficult to believe.

I usually agree with you Magistrate and like your comments but lead is a dangerous heavy metal and should be eliminated from our environment.

AND even if lead is not as dangerous as the Mother Jones article indicates, it is still a toxin and what harm will come from cleaning it up out of our cities and suburbs?

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Response to fasttense (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:53 AM

28. Keep Leaping To Conclusions Like That, Sir, You Will Come A Cropper

I cast no aspersion on Mr. Drum.

It is a general human weakness to hope for a 'silver bullet' that can solve or explain a difficult problem easily, and people on the left are as prone to this as people on the right.

I have no objections to clearing lead out of urban environments; old paint is particularly dangerous.

But anyone who thinks this is going to solve the economic and civic wreckage of distressed urban neighborhoods, in which unemployment runs three and four times the national average, and wages when they can be had are barely sufficient to support a single adult in most cases, is sadly mistaken.

Lead is a problem of pollution, and ought to be cleaned up; cleaning it up is not a panacea for the ills of urban life.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:04 AM

37. Rick Nevin wants to use tax money to replace windows in REOs to increase their value to

 

'investors'.

He doesn't want to clean up superfund sites.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:29 AM

2. Link from Wednesday here in the UK

Violent Crime Linked To Levels Of Lead In Air.

>

Lead in petrol in the US was phased out from the mid-1970s onwards and in paint from the mid-1960s. Violent crime started to fall in the 1990s and has continued to fall since, despite a recession at the end of the last decade.

Other research has found that areas of US cities where lead levels have stayed high have continued to experience more robberies and attacks than other areas.

In Britain, violent crime has also been dropping since the 1990s. Lead in the atmosphere has been steadily decreasing, too, with one study showing it fell 90% between the mid-1970s and 1992. Since then it has continued to fall.

Professor Howard Mielke, of Tulane University, who studied the effect in New Orleans, said: "There is a very strong association between criminal activity and the environment in different parts of the city.

"The amount of lead in the environment ... was particularly strongly related to both learning problems and then violence.

http://news.sky.com/story/1035550/violent-crime-linked-to-levels-of-lead-in-air

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:41 AM

6. You notice they don't cite the studies (so you can't read them); only one researcher's name is

 

mentioned: his study was done in August 2012 & is simply correlative.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412012000566

Need I repeat? "Correlation is not causation".

http://hisscienceistootight.blogspot.com/

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:51 AM

8. I appreciate that.

They might also have a correlation against youngsters going fishing less.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:01 AM

9. I'd also be interested in knowing what Mielke's actually degreed in -- he got his PhD in 1972,

 

but his first university positions after the PhD were in Geography, then in a Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, then in Pharmacy, then in Chemistry & Bioenvironmental, but not until 2006 -- which is weird.

His CV doesn't say what his degrees are in. Also weird.

http://tulane.edu/som/departments/pharmacology/mielke.cfm

The second researcher seems to have done the real work; Mielke is the one with the government connections to lead.

(On edit: Mielke's lead work goes back a lot further, actually -- to the 70s...and his interest is more in general abatement than violence... http://www.indiegogo.com/leadlab )

http://www.healthandsocietyscholars.org/1822/16821/284080

But Zahran's PhD is in sociology, and he's a fellow at the Bush (George) School of Government:

http://bush.tamu.edu/istpp/fellows/szahran/

This is not smelling right either...



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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:39 AM

5. I thought the decrease in crime since the 90s was a function of boomers getting older

1970 through 1990 saw a huge segment of the population pass through the 20 to 40 age range. A generally older population isn't going to take up street crime.

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Response to JVS (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:43 AM

7. However, if lead exposure directly caused violent behavior at a neurological level, you'd expect

 

those exposed to continue their violent ways throughout their lives (so long as they were physically able to). One is just as able to do violence at 30 or 40 years old as at 20.

Apparently all the violent lead-poisoned men died off.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:54 AM

15. "Directly caused", no, more like "contributed to"

what else contributes to violent behaviour? Testosterone. Testosterone levels peak in the late teens and decline after the mid-20's; this is simple biology. Young men, between say the teens and 30 or so, are the majority of violent criminals in any society. (Figures from 2007 for the UK: 90% of violent offenders male, 50% between 17 and 24.)

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:34 AM

46. yes, i understand that men tend to be more violent than women, & young men more so than

 

older men.

and here is the way drum opens his article:

The hypothesis was so exotic that I laughed. The rise and fall of violent crime during the second half of the 20th century and first years of the 21st were caused, it proposed, not by changes in policing or imprisonment, single parenthood, recession, crack cocaine or the legalisation of abortion, but mainly by ... lead.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/lead-and-crime-assessing-evidence

my my isn't that interesting.

No, Kevin, you progressive, you, crack cocaine had nothing to do with it. jesus christ.



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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:21 AM

10. Article of interest

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/07/violent-crime-lead-poisoning-british-export

Nothing else seems to explain these trends. The researchers have taken great pains to correct for the obvious complicating variables: social, economic and legal factors. One paper found, after 15 variables had been taken into account, a four-fold increase in homicides in US counties with the highest lead pollution. Another discovered that lead levels appeared to explain 90% of the difference in rates of aggravated assault between US cities.

A study in Cincinnati finds that young people prosecuted for delinquency are four times more likely than the general population to have high levels of lead in their bones. A meta-analysis (a study of studies) of 19 papers found no evidence that other factors could explain the correlation between exposure to lead and conduct problems in young people.

Is it really so surprising that a highly potent nerve toxin causes behavioural change? The devastating and permanent impacts of even very low levels of lead on IQ have been known for many decades. Behavioural effects were first documented in 1943: infants who had tragically chewed the leaded paint off the railings of their cots were found, years after they had recovered from acute poisoning, to be highly disposed to aggression and violence.

Lead poisoning in infancy, even at very low levels, impairs the development of those parts of the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex) that regulate behaviour and mood. The effect is stronger in boys than in girls. Lead poisoning is associated with attention deficit disorder, impulsiveness, aggression and, according to one paper, psychopathy. Lead is so toxic that it is unsafe at any level.

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:28 AM

11. Popular articles on such topics aren't worth much. Lead is a neurotoxin, that's not controversial.

 

But the links to specific behavior problems are; ADHD, violence, *psychopathy*?

"The effect is stronger in boys."

Now why would that be, I wonder?

Any why the sudden rash of lead articles?

And why is so much in the popular press tied to Rick Nevin?

As is the article at your link, which is based on the Mother Jones article, which was heavily based on the work of Rick nevin.


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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:45 AM

14. Probably because someone has found a way to get free stuff stemming from a bad

 

situation, it's not unusual in our species. Lead affects males more and the effects seem to be more permanent, nothing new about this.

Behavioral effects induced by subchronic exposure to Pb and their reversion are concentration and gender dependent.
Soeiro AC, Gouvêa TS, Moreira EG.
Source

Department of Physiological Sciences, State University of Londrina, Londrina, PR, Brazil.
Abstract

Lead (Pb) seems to be involved in the etiology of psychological pathologies. This study investigated the effects of subchronic Pb exposure from weaning to adulthood on anxiety, depression and aggressiveness in male and female Swiss mice. Moreover, the reversibility of the effects was evaluated retesting the animals 30 days after the end of exposure. Swiss male and female mice (21 days) were exposed to 0, 50, 100 or 500 ppm of Pb, as Pb acetate, in drinking water for 70 days and were submitted to the forced swimming, tail suspension, elevated plus-maze or intruder-resident tests.

Pb exposure to 50 and 500 ppm induced anti-depressant-like effect in both males and females, whereas exposure to 500 ppm induced anxiogenic effect only in males. Interruption of exposure was able to reverse the behavioral alterations in females, but not in males exposed to the highest concentration (500 ppm). Our results suggest that behavioral effects induced by subchronic exposure to Pb from weaning to adulthood and their reversion are concentration and gender dependent.

PMID:
17984144

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:02 AM

16. being as the paper is from 2007, actually it is pretty new. and given the lack of similar papers,

 

i'd guess it's not well-studied.

but since you seem to know a lot about it, maybe you could link me to other studies where such gender differences are discussed.


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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:18 AM

18. ...

As a neurotoxicant, lead is especially harmful to the developing brain, and early exposures can irreversibly impair children’s cognitive and behavioral development. Although a blood lead level of 10 μg/dL is used as a benchmark for intervention, a growing body of research demonstrates that neurologic effects occur well below this level. Based on research published in Early Human Development in August 2009, boys may be even more susceptible than girls to damage related to very low-level lead exposure.

Sex-based susceptibility to low-level lead exposure was previously suspected, but this study is the first to document a statistically significant difference. “Entering into this research, we did not expect to find such a strong gender-based difference in response to very low lead levels, but this hypothesis was confirmed by a long series of analyses,” says lead author Wieslaw Jedrychowski, chair of epidemiology and preventive medicine in the College of Medicine at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

The study population included 457 infants born in Krakow between January 2001 and February 2004. For inclusion in the study, mothers had to be nonsmokers aged 18 to 35 years with no history of chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.

Upon enrolling in the study, expectant mothers completed a detailed questionnaire that covered demographic characteristics, pregnancy dates, and medical and reproductive history. Interviews during pregnancy and after birth provided information about secondhand tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy and duration of breastfeeding.

At birth a cord blood sample was collected to measure lead concentration, and the Mental Development Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development—a widely used tool for assessing mental development in young children—was administered to the women’s children at ages 12, 24, and 36 months to assess factors such as problem solving, memory, vocalization, and language. Normal MDI scores are 85 and above, whereas scores below 85 indicate delayed development.

Cord blood lead levels ranged from 0.44 to 4.60 μg/dL, with a median level of 1.21 μg/dL. Mean blood lead levels were not significantly different between boys and girls, nor were maternal education (an indicator of socioeconomic status), number of siblings, or prenatal and postnatal secondhand smoke exposure. Among boys, but not girls, cord blood lead levels were significantly associated with a lower MDI score at 36 months after controlling for confounding factors. With the median blood lead level (1.21 μg/dL) delineating low and high exposures, high exposure was associated with a 4.5-point deficit in boys’ MDI scores.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737040/

http://ccceh.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jed2009.pdf

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:29 AM

45. "boys may be even more susceptible than girls...this study is the first to document a statistically

 

significant difference..." to low-level exposure, in 2009, based on scores on the Mental Development Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

In other words, no, this is not 'old stuff'.

& FWIW, has nothing to do with violence.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:53 AM

29. I will give it my best when I get home.... it is common knowledge that boys tend to exhibit

 

more of the tendencies of ADHD or that the numbers of boys who have it outnumber girls/women, one theory is that they spend/spent more time playing outdoors in the lead laden dirt in the cities. Some gardens in Maryland according to EPA standards should have their soil hauled off and burned.

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:24 AM

44. I saw there's a new paper out about lead & ADHD too. They're hitting it hard. But it made me

 

wonder, if lead is causal in ADHD, why in the hell are we feeding those kids psych drugs rather than chelating their blood & looking for sources of lead in their immediate environments?


I'll be looking forward to the results of your home research.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:26 PM

60. Some people treat from a biochemical standpoint, take the Pfeifer Research Center for

 

example, www.hriptc.org they purportedly have helped alleviate type A personality traits, ADHD, autism and Schizophrenia and I am not at all surprised that they could achieve positive results in all of these conditions/syndromes.

As far as chelation goes it is a dicey imho procedure.... one that requires monitoring of kidney function etc. There are some algal extracts that chelate out heavy metals in a less dramatic fashion but this process is much slower and perhaps less effective than full out chelation therapy.

If you are truly interested in this subject I suggest you read The Toxic Metal Syndrome it is a real eye opener, here is a link, I read it some 15 years ago.

http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Metal-Syndrome-Poisonings-Affect/dp/0895296497/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357946690&sr=8-1&keywords=Toxic+metal+syndrome

If you subscribe to the belief that death, disease, and physical decline are optional, this book's for you. Casdorph and Walker expose the accumulation of toxic metals in the brain as the likely source of Alzheimer's-style dementia and offer strategies for preventing such accumulation. The fact that the medical establishment and the FDA stand opposed to C & W's therapeutics distinguishes, to say the least, their book from others on Alzheimer's. The therapy they employ, chelation, is hardly new, but the results Casdorph has obtained from it are unparalleled. Widespread U.S. use of chelation apparently ended in the 1960s when the medical establishment concluded that, like insulin, its benefits ceased when treatment ended. Casdorph and a few others persisted and devised from it a treatment for Alzheimer's that flushes toxic metals from the system. However problematically, this book proffers hope to Alzheimer's sufferers and their loved ones. But the best thing in it may be the recipe for mock roast turkey made from tofu; don't miss it. Mike Tribby

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:16 PM

61. What I'm asking is, if it's so certain that lead is a leading cause of ADHD, why don't diagnosis &

 

treatment protocols reflect that supposed fact?

Why isn't every child with adhd symptoms tested for blood lead levels?

Why are they put on psych drugs which also have neurotoxic effects (and could conceivably exacerbate the effects of lead poisoning)?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #61)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:21 PM

64. Multifactorial comes to mind, some toxicity issues mimick genetic illness/syndromes, so it is

 

not hard to imagine that not all children/boys would benefit from heavy metal screening/treatment... however if it were my kid I would want excessive levels of cadmium, aluminum, lead, mercury etc treated. A simple hair analysis is all that is needed.... but again the mainstream aims to treat the symptoms of as many people as possible so often it is a drug that twists the brain's arm that is employed, long term effects be damned.

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Response to 2on2u (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:45 PM

66. If lead is supposedly a major cause, yes, it's hard to imagine why testing wouldn't be routine.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:39 AM

12. Except that's hardly the only source for this

this has been researched fairly extensively by many people.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/01/gathering-peer-reviewed-studies-on.html

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:43 AM

24. Yeah. I'm kind of surprised this is so surprising to people

I thought we were playing way past this.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:47 AM

25. LOL. It hasn't been 'studied extensively' at all. Take your link, for example:

 

The first study linked is the Cincinnatti cohort study, the one that keeps getting referenced in every recent article on the topic of lead & violence, since it's apparently the only prospective cohort study done (or maybe the only cohort study that showed results at any level of significance...)

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050101

The sample was 90% black and very poor. 55% of the sample had at least one arrest, and 64% the males did, with the average # of arrests being 5. Some problems with that research are discussed here:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/01/08/does-lead-exposure-cause-violent-crime-the-science-is-still-out/#.UPABY_KVZkg



The next study is the Mielke cities study; it's just a simple correlative study of lead in the air v. rates of violence in given cities.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412012000566


The next paper is not a study, it just discusses two studies, one of which is the Cincinnati study above. This paper contains no new information about lead & violence. It does note, however, that research attempting to link lead exposure to antisocial behavior "are provocative but limited by a variety of methodological factors".

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050115


The last paper is the Reyes research discussed here, and basically it's another correlative study.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/01/08/does-lead-exposure-cause-violent-crime-the-science-is-still-out/#.UPABY_KVZkg

http://www3.amherst.edu/~jwreyes/papers/LeadCrimeNBERWP13097.pdf


There is no extensive literature on lead exposure & violent crime. NONE. There's only been one prospective cohort study done, & it's weak for more than a few reasons.








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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:00 AM

33. They did the study *because the etiology was already established*, which you keep ignoring

That's why we were nationally doing lead abatement in the 1970s and 1980s, and why idealistic young community organizers like Barack Obama were doing it in the 1990s. Hell, Tony Blair ran on it as part of his platform.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:19 AM

43. The etiology of lead & neurotoxicity/IQ. Not violence. Violence isn't the reason they were doing

 

lead abatement back then.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:19 PM

62. Neurotoxicity and prefrontal lobe damage can lead to aggressive and violent behaviour

this is well-known; those are the areas of the brain involved in executive function and impulse control. There's been highly extensive research on this. There are significant differences in the prefrontal lobe structure observed in violent sociopaths, for instance. And a history of head injury is a common factor in most serial killers.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:39 PM

65. key word: 'can'. not 'is' on some predictable basis. most patients with frontal lobes lesions

 

injuries are not violent.

'impulsivity' is not equal to violence.

'poor card sorting ability (executive function) is not equal to violence.

etc, etc, etc. these surrogate measures don't correspond 1:1 to violence.

that's why so many weasel words in this discussion.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:55 PM

68. they correlate well though.

And there is very extensive literature on frontal lobe damage and aggression and violence.

Abstract

Knowledge stored in the human prefrontal cortex may exert control over more primitive behavioral reactions to environmental provocation. Therefore, following frontal lobe lesions, patients are more likely to use physical intimidation or verbal threats in potential or actual confrontational situations. To test this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between frontal lobe lesions and the presence of aggressive and violent behavior. Fifty-seven normal controls and 279 veterans, matched for age, education, and time in Vietnam, who had suffered penetrating head injuries during their service in Vietnam, were studied. Family observations and self-reports were collected using scales and questionnaires that assessed a range of aggressive and violent attitudes and behavior. Two Aggression/Violence Scale scores, based on observer ratings, were constructed. The results indicated that patients with frontal ventromedial lesions consistently demonstrated Aggression/Violence Scale scores significantly higher than controls and patients with lesions in other brain areas. Higher Aggression/Violence Scale scores were generally associated with verbal confrontations rather than physical assaults, which were less frequently reported. The presence of aggressive and violent behaviors was not associated with the total size of the lesion nor whether the patient had seizures, but was associated with a disruption of family activities. These findings support the hypothesis that ventromedial frontal lobe lesions increase the risk of aggressive and violent behavior.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8628458


Abstract

OBJECTIVES To establish the link between frontal lobe dysfunction and violent and criminal behaviour, based on a review of relevant literature.

METHODS Articles relating evidence of frontal lobe dysfunction with violence or crime were collected through a MEDLINE search using the keyword “frontal lobe” combined with the terms “aggression,” “violence,” “crime,” “antisocial personality disorder,” “psychopathy,” “impulse control disorders”, and “episodic dyscontrol.” Reference lists were then searched for additional articles.

RESULTS High rates of neuropsychiatric abnormalities reported in persons with violent and criminal behaviour suggest an association between aggressive dyscontrol and brain injury, especially involving the frontal lobes. The studies reviewed support an association between frontal lobe dysfunction and increased aggressive and antisocial behaviour. Focal orbitofrontal injury is specifically associated with increased aggression. Deficits in frontal executive function may increase the likelihood of future aggression, but no study has reliably demonstrated a characteristic pattern of frontal network dysfunction predictive of violent crime.

CONCLUSIONS Clinically significant focal frontal lobe dysfunction is associated with aggressive dyscontrol, but the increased risk of violence seems less than is widely presumed. Evidence is strongest for an association between focal prefrontal damage and an impulsive subtype of aggressive behaviour.

http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/71/6/720.full


Examination of mood and behaviour changes after frontal damage may contribute to understanding the functional role of distinct prefrontal areas in depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety disorders, symptoms, and behaviour were compared in eight patients with single lateral and eight patients with single medial frontal lesions matched for age, sex, race, education, socioeconomic status, side, and aetiology of lesion 2 weeks and 3 months after brain injury. DSM IV major depressive and generalised anxiety disorders were more frequent in patients with lateral compared with medial lesions at 2 weeks but not at 3 months. At 3 months, however, patients with lateral damage showed greater severity of depressive symptoms, and greater impairment in both activities of daily living and social functioning. At initial evaluation depressed mood and slowness were more frequent, whereas at 3 months slowness, lack of energy, and social unease were more frequent in the lateral than the medial group. Patients with lateral lesions showed greater reduction of emotion and motivation (apathy) during both examinations. Medial frontal injury may fail to produce emotional dysregulation or may inhibit experience of mood changes, anxiety, or apathy. Lateral prefrontal damage may disrupt mood regulation and drive while leaving intact the ability to experience (negative) emotions.

http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/67/5/664.short

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #68)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:14 AM

69. no. they don't 'correlate well'.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #69)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:39 AM

70. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

Again.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #70)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:58 PM

71. lol. you post random research you haven't read & pretend you know what you're talking about.

 

but it's clear you've never done any kind of research.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #71)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:09 PM

72. Hardly "random" and I've read enough on the subject...

to be quite aware of a well-documented correlation between frontal lobe trauma and behavioural aggression and impulse-control issues. Indeed aggressive behaviour and poor impulse control are classic markers for a frontal-lobe syndrome. So for you to argue that "they don't correlate" is, frankly, absurd and demonstrates your ignorance of the issue. Especially pertinent when there is also substantial research that shows lead exposure is neurotoxic and affects tissues in the frontal lobes of developing brains, leading to tissue deficits and structural changes (with some level of predictable effect on behaviour).

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:13 AM

17. get the lead out

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:56 AM

32. I'm all for getting the lead out of toxic sites, reducing smelter emissions & similar projects.

 

Replacing windows in bank-owned homes to add value to financiers' latest investment scam?

Let them buy their own windows if they want new windows.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:19 AM

19. It did sound like a preposterous theory.

 

Nice fact checking by the author of the article.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:38 AM

20. The Nation did a long, fairly extensive article on this in March 2000.

It was titled "The Secret History of Lead".

http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-history-lead#

It's long.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

http://crywolfproject.org/briefs/secret-history-lead


Date Published:
Mon, 03/20/2000

Jamie Lincoln Kitman. The Nation. March 20, 2000.

Taking up an entire issue of the Nation magazine, “The Secret History of Lead” is a stunningly detailed article that reveals the whole sad history of leaded gasoline.

From the industry’s first cover ups in the 1920s to their ultra-reactionary efforts to slow down the EPA’s phaseout in the 1970s, it’s all here. “Since the virtual disappearance of leaded gas in the United States…the mean blood-lead level of the American population has declined more than 75 percent.”
Issues:
Auto Emissions
Clean Air
Toxics
Laws:
Phase Out of Leaded Gasoline
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Google the article, and you can come up with a lot of other research.



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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:50 AM

26. It doesn't say anything significant about lead as a causal factor in violent crime, because the

 

research on that is spotty & weak where it exists.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:03 AM

36. You read that 10 page article in five minutes?

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:17 AM

42. I read part of that article before. I also happen to be fairly confident there is only one

 

prospective cohort study on violence + lead.

Ergo, the Nation article doesn't mention anything else, because it doesn't exist.

But if I'm in error, feel free to link me to the page that discusses the research I missed.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:43 AM

23. Is this really the first you guys have heard of the lead-antisocial link?

I didn't realize the link was even remotely controversial, but everybody is surprised and now we even have an OP "debunking" it.

FWIW, when Obama was a community organizer his biggest goal was lead abatement, because this is so well known.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:53 AM

30. Lead is a well-known neurotoxin. The research on links to violence is minimal, correlative only,

 

with the exception of one prospective cohort study. Which was also weak.

No, it's not 'well known' & is in fact regarded as an unproven hypothesis.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:55 AM

31. I'm not sure "correlation" means what you think it does

And, no, the research linking lead to antisocial behavior goes way, way back. Like to the 1950's. Including the etiology that you mysteriously seem to ignore.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:12 AM

41. The research on lead and 'anti-social behavior' going back to the 50s is weak (as might be guessed

 

from the use of the term 'anti-social behavior'.) And the research on lead and violence is incredibly weak & near-non-existent but for correlations in populations.

If there were other cohort studies, they would have been mentioned. They don't exist.

Just because you can type 'etiology' doesn't mean you are using it in meaningful way. What is this etiology that I ignore?

Show me the research. Show me the replicated studies pinning down the link between violence & blood lead levels in individuals.

It doesn't exist.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:52 AM

27. "Lead-safe window replacement"? Oy.

Energy efficient. check.

Upgrade. check

Lead safe? No more so than a simply scraping/painting.

And replacing windows is an enormous investment. And why would a banker be touting a very expensive upgrade to inner city housing?

Oh.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:05 AM

38. It's not just inner-city housing he's talking about. It's any/all bank-owned property that could

 

be converted to rentals.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:08 AM

39. Which pushes back even harder on "lead-safe".

tsk tsk

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:02 AM

35. Regardless of provenance

The issue bears looking into. Lead is pretty damn toxic stuff.

My critique of the study is that it largely does not tie back to serum lead levels in a target population, say prisoners incarcerated for violent offenses.

It is reasonable to assume that the use of leaded vehicle fuel brought more lead and the impacts of lead to higher vehicle traffic areas as a hypothesis. There are a number of anectdotal bits pointing at a correlation.

I think a large sample of serum lead levels would be needed to run the ANOVA and see how much real variability this factor explains.

I have no problem with an economist running statistics, they do that. One must remember that correlation does not necessarily indicate causation, but it might.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:09 AM

40. I agree, it bears looking into. And I agree, the evidence tying the correlation to levels of

 

violence in individuals is the weakest link. So far as I've been able to tell, there's only been one prospective cohort study, of 250 individuals, 90% black, in a very low-income population with high arrests generally. It was weak.

Rick Nevin undoubtably does statistics as an economist working for Mellon Bank & a political/business consulting company. But in whose interest?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:11 PM

53. Good data and analysis is good data and analysis

As a scientist, I could see broad areas where this data and analysis was in need of improvement. I would say the same regardless of where the author came from.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:17 PM

54. I would too, except that in this case this particular author appears to be cited in nearly every

 

media piece on the topic for the last few years at least.

And he's not an original researcher; he's an economist who compiles research results in support of a particular position.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:55 PM

55. Meta analysis is legit as an endeavor

but his work may or may not be bogus. Scientists are not immune to politics or special interest. The question is whether the work holds water. Where he works is cause to look at the work closely for bias, but it is not proof of it.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #55)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:59 PM

56. he's not doing meta-analysis. there isn't even enough in the literature for it. He's

 

just summarizing.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #56)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:13 PM

58. More like journalism then?

If so then people can spew pretty much whatever they like.

I can say this from personal experience. One of the ugliest and most dangerous places I have ever been had a blast furnace that melted used cars to make structural steel. I was there to clean up the lead, cadmium, and chromium dust as well as the improperly disposed PCB oils. It was also the crime, violence, and STD capital of Florida at the time. While the measurements of lead I was taking were real, the connection between one and the other can only be an anectdote, because I was sampling soils and surfaces, not people.

I think serum lead levels were the reason the site got superfund money, but I never had access to that data. We collected as much of the dust as we could, mixed it with clay and portland cement and cast a huge monolith with it, some 25,000 cubic yards of it. It is now burried and contained. I was happy to be done, and leave the tyvek suits and respirators behind.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #58)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:16 PM

59. More like selective review of the (limited) literature. Though I question any lit review that cites

 

The Bell Curve as an authoritative source.

Lead is a physical and neurotoxin. That's established.

The links to violence remain to be proved.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:06 AM

47. About that "inner city" objection

the first thing that set off my bullshit detector was that the rise in violence circa 1970-1990 was significantly urban, inner-city, black, & male

Well....where is leaded gasoline going to put more lead into the air, in the "inner city" or in less-populated rural areas?

Urban areas got a lot more lead.

What were the demographics of urban areas after the "white flight"?

Lots more blacks in those urban areas.

Which gender has committed more violent crimes throughout history?

Males.

So, wouldn't it follow that a lead-fueled crime wave would be urban, black and male, since there was more lead there, more blacks there and males have always committed more violent crimes?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:09 AM

48. actually, no, there were more whites in a lot of those urban areas, most notably nyc. if lead

 

causes violence, why would it hit black males preferentially 1970-1990?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:25 AM

49. NYC also had lots of non-black crime

While blacks got lots of focus by the media, there was plenty of non-black crime. Blacks performed more of the violence than their percent of the population, but they also lived in the places with more lead.

Why do you think the levels of atmospheric lead followed by a higher crime rate has a racial component?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

50. who is Rick Nevin

I introduced myself in 2007 with a guest blog at http://riehlworldview.com/2007/07/lead-poisoning.html when a conservative blogger responded to the Washington Post article about my research with some of the same angry suspicions expressed here. I still work for ICF and still collaborate with NCHH and I am still doing all of my research on my own time and dime. I am an economist, but I think I also qualify as a health researcher based on my many publications about the health effects of lead, available at the Nevin Research page of my web site, www.ricknevin.com. The 2010 World Health Organization guidance on Childhood Lead Poisoning at http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/leadguidance.pdf also reproduced my 100-year graph of USA murder rates versus paint lead and gasoline trends (see page 21), and cited my 2000 and 2007 studies in Environmental Research.

A more recent version of my working paper on "Lead Poisoning and The Bell Curve" is available at www.ricknevin.com under a quote from Thomas Sowell about that book: "The great danger in this emotional atmosphere is that there will develop a two-tiered set of reactions--violent public outcries against the message of The Bell Curve by some, and uncritical private acceptance of it by many others, who hear no rational arguments being used against it." I don't agree with Thomas Sowell about a lot of things, but his prediction on this subject could not have been more accurate. I do agree with the statement that The Bell Curve is racist, and that is what my research shows. The dictionary definition of a racist is someone who believes "that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities". The NAACP actively lobbied for removing lead from gasoline, at a time when African-American children were disproportionately affected because they were much more likely to live in larger cities where air lead levels were higher. When President Obama was a U.S. Senator he drew a line in the sand and said he would block any future EPA appointments until the EPA issued it's long-delayed Renovation and Rehab Rule (RRR) to prevent lead paint hazards. The NCHH actively promoted the RRR rule, and celebrated that rule when it finally became law: See http://www.progressivereform.org/CPRBlog.cfm?idBlog=25BD809A-D94F-5081-847E1638618172CE. Those actions by the NAACP, Senator Obama, and the NCHH - and my research - have nothing in common with racists.

Another angry outcry about "the purported science" in The Bell Curve does not address the Scientific American article by Linda Gottfredson, at http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html#authors, or the illustration for that article at http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfredbox2.html that reflects data reported in The Bell Curve. Gottfredson also organized the 1994 treatise "Mainstream Science on Intelligence," an editorial published by the Wall Street Journal, with more than 50 signatories with expertise in cognitive research, largely supporting findings reported in The Bell Curve. My web site paper on "The Answer is Lead Poisoning" explicitly addresses the Gottfredson article and The Bell Curve with a rational argument that discredits racist interpretations of the data reported in Scientific American.

It is a fact that the horror of childhood lead poisoning, in dilapidated slum housing and in public housing projects built beside major highways with severe near-fallout from leaded gasoline emissions, is a horror that has disproportionately affected African-American children. Denying that this horror occurred has nothing to do with Science, and recognizing the horrific effects of childhood lead poisonning has nothing to do with racism.

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Response to RickNevin (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:43 PM

51. Wow. Rapid response team, or what?

 

1. You attempt to link my post with a conservative blogger, but cite Thomas Sowell & give kudos to Giuliani.

Did the conservative blogger mention REOs? No, he did not. Did the conservative blogger mention The Bell Curve? No, he did not. Did the conservative blogger spend hours digging into the (limited) research literature on lead & violence & posting on it? No, he did not.

2. You say you agree that 'Bell Curve' is racist, but cite:

a) a paper promoting IQ as a measure of intelligence that cites research from the racist Arthur Jensen, whose claim was that genes were the primary determinant of black-white IQ differences, and Bell Curve's Charles Murray;
b) a conference & editorial "largely supporting findings reported in The Bell Curve,"; and you
c) accept the data and conceptualizations of Bell Curve as real, material & commonly accepted findings, necessary of explanation, which is -- lead.

3. You imply that I've denied 'the horror of childhood lead poisoning,' when I've done no such thing. Questioning the 'lead = violence' linkage specifically, & the quality/quantity of the research supporting this hypothesis, is not 'denying the horror of childhood lead poisoning.'

4) To put it bluntly, a case is being made that lead exposure = violence & the evidence is weak. Kevin Drum outlines it here:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/lead-and-crime-assessing-evidence

a. Ecological studies. These look at correlations between lead exposure and crime rates at a population level. There are now multiple rigorous studies using different methodologies that demonstrate this correlation at the city level, the state level, the national level, and in different countries at different times.

Ecological correlations are interesting and worthy of further study, including cases which seem not to fit the hypothesis (e.g. Japan). And cohort studies, which are apparently limited to ONE:

b. Longitudinal studies. A University of Cincinnati team began following a group of children starting in the early 80s. Every six months they measured lead levels in their blood. At age 7, kids with higher lead levels were doing worse in school. At age 17 they were more heavily involved in juvenile delinquency. At age 27 they had higher arrest rates for violent crimes.


*One* longitudinal study, not 'studies'. There are no others that I've found (there's one in australia that was supposed to report results in Dec. 2012 but I'm unable to find any report as yet).

The results of the Cincinnati study are strange; no correlation with pre-natal maternal blood levels and correlation with blood levels at age 6 is stronger than the average of all childhood blood levels.

Additionally, the study was of a group (250) of largely black, low-income subjects in which over half had arrest records, and over 60% of males had arrest records. Where are the cohort studies that include non-black, non-low-income subjects?


c. Imaging studies. The Cincinnati team recently did a series of MRI scans of their subjects and found that participants with higher childhood lead levels had permanent damage to areas of the brain that are responsible for things like impulse control, judgment, and emotional regulation. We've long known that lead poisoning at high levels makes you more aggressive and prone to violence, and this study strongly suggests that the same thing is true even at moderate levels.

No, we *haven't* "long known that lead poisoning...makes you more...prone to violence..." -- or you would have cited the evidence, instead of the same set of papers that get hyped in every article. The link to observable real-world violence -- not 'irritability,' not 'aggressive behavior,' not 'poor impulse control,' not poor 'judgement,' not 'emotional regulation' -- is what remains to be proven.



Brain damage does not = 'violence'. Low IQ does not = 'violence.'

And even if the 'lead = violence' link were pinned down to a certainty, would changing out windows in bank-owned foreclosures being bought up in big lots by big investors be the best way to reduce the damage?

Personally, I don't think so. But that should be a matter of scientific debate as well.




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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:09 PM

57. Let me try this one more time

1. My link between your post and a 2007 post by a conservative blogger was to point out that you both managed to find some of the same information about my work history on the web, and you both stated or implied that this research has been biased by some wealth of government contracting money, which is the furthest this from the truth. I quoted from Thomas Sowell's critical review of The Bell Curve (do you oppose criticism of The Bell Curve?) and I don't know how you conclude that I gave kudos to Giuliani.

With respect to REOs, the complete submission to FHFA called for a collaboration with non-profits to make lease-to-own financing available to households that are eligible for low-income rental assistance, while increasing energy efficiency and preventing childhood lead exposure.

2. I do agree that The Bell Curve is racist, and I don't see how that statement is in any way contradicted by my research that disputes the paper you find offensive, and the claim that IQ is a measure of inherited intelligence, and refutes the Jensen claim that genes are the primary determinant of black-white IQ differences, and refutes the conference & editorial "largely supporting findings reported in The Bell Curve,". I do think that an article in Scientific American, still on the web after all these years, does warrant serious rebuttal if it is presented as "material & commonly accepted findings", which it is. I have only "cited" all of these claims that I dispute in the same sensee that you have "cited" The Bell Curve in your post.

3. If you want to disagree with "the 'lead = violence' linkage specifically, & the quality/quantity of the research supporting this hypothesis", then you share that skepticism with many others who are not familiar with the science on this subject. I mentioned my exchange with a conservative blogger to point out that this skepticism spans the political spectrum. We can have that discussion without the need for inaccurate unsupported attacks implying that I am a racist getting rich off of government contracts funding my research.

4) I disagree that there is only a weak case for the conclustion that lead exposure is strongly associated with crime. The Cincinnatti study was a confirmation of Denno's groundbreaking research reported in her 1990 book, Biology and Violence, showing that childhood lead poisoning was an extremely strong predictor of later criminal behavior in a study of youths in Philadelphia, and this relationship has also been confirmed by two studies done by Needleman and colleagues in Pittsburgh. The dismissal of ecological studies also fails to address the fact that the purpose of any statistical proof is to evaluate the likelihood that an association between two variables could be explained by random chance. In order to dismiss the ecological studies showing the strength of the relationship between lead and crime, you have to believe that it is just a remarkable coincidence that the USA murder rate followed the rise and fall of lead paint use with a 21-year lag in the first half of the 1900s, and it was another remarkable coincidence that the same relationship between preschool lead exposure and both property crime and violent crime over the past five decades has been documented in every one of nine nations examined. It is also a coincidence that the statistical best-fit time lag relating lead exposure trends to crime trends just happens to be consistent with the lag between peak ages of offending and neurodevelopmental damage in the first year of life (documented by a vast research literature), and it is a coincidence that the best fit time lag is around 18 years for burglary, and 23 years for violent crimes, consistent with a peak age of offending for burglary and other property crimes around the age of 18 versus a peak age of offending for violent crimes at around 23. Finally, it is a coincidence that the extremely strong relationship shown in every nation studied based on crime data through 2002 also just happened to accurately forecast the ongoing stunning declines in burglary rates and index crime rates in Canada, Britain, and Australia, as well as in the USA, over the last decade, despite a severe global recession. See http://www.ricknevin.com/Nevin_Graphs.html. That is one remarkable coincidence.

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Response to RickNevin (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:51 PM

52. Who stands to profit the most from your suggested solution? NT

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:20 PM

63. Big banks qualify for taxpayer funded lead abatement?

My, how things have changed. Just a few years ago when I worked for a non-profit, you had to fall within a certain income level to qualify for lead abatement funds. I doubt Goldman-Sachs would have qualified, but of course that was when life in the United States was more sane, and corporate welfare was less prevalent.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:48 PM

67. Citations to The Bell Curve definitely runs up a red flag for me.

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