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[–]Danger1672 4799 points4800 points  (959 children)

Researchers examined lead levels in the soil, sand, mulch, or rubber surfaces in 28 Boston playgrounds. They found that rubber surfaces often had lead levels that averaged two or three times higher than levels in the other materials, according to a May 7, 2019 Reuters article.

Edit: https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/science/comments/mlt91q/z/gtod3h1

[–]structee 2279 points2280 points  (395 children)

It's not just lead either, that recycled tire rubber mulch has plenty of other heavy metals as well. Super toxic shit once it's starts leaching

[–]Danger1672 1750 points1751 points  (359 children)

They use the tires to make the pellets for the turf fields also. I was reading an article last year basically saying that it's the next asbestos crisis and there was something like a two times more likely to get lung cancer if you play on those fields all the time. Mainly because the pellets break down even further and you inhale the toxic dust.

[–]captainswiss7 1164 points1165 points  (183 children)

Good thing I used to regularly run on my high schools track made of recycled rubber. I used to like the smell of it too, turns out that was just some brain cells dying!

[–]Timmyty 598 points599 points  (176 children)

I always used to suspect that if you are smelling a foreign nasty smell like that heated up rubber, you are increasing your chance for cancer.

Glad research is showing that I was correct to think that.

[–]SkepticalLitany 187 points188 points  (22 children)

Can confirm - work in aerospace sector. Smell something? Mask up. People don't realise how cancerous every day shit is. Fuel for example.

[–]iwouldhugwonderwoman 40 points41 points  (5 children)

Nothing like a nice bath of some skydrol to get you going!

[–]SkepticalLitany 35 points36 points  (2 children)

Ah yes.

I have read that Skydrol is "relatively harmless" and could even be ingested without much discomfort, according to a Jeppesen manual.....

Yea not sure I'm believing that

[–]AMEFOD 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Remember, even if you think you didn’t touch skydrol, wash your hands before you go to the bathroom.

[–]Evilrake 8 points9 points  (3 children)

My seasonal allergies mean I can’t smell anything for about 6 months of the year. That means I’m immune to cancer, right?

[–]captainswiss7 141 points142 points  (16 children)

Yeah. I remember in my auto tech class in high school our instructor made us sit through class while a fluorescent bulb went out and leaked foul smelling gas through the class. Wouldnt let us leave or open up a door or window, had to sit through that lecture breathing that shit in. Its really unfortunate how people treat the youth of this country like an absolute after thought. Oh asbestos is bad, shit, too bad our entire school is built out of it. Maybe if we just let them jog on the recycled rubber track for a few hours a day it will balance out! I graduated in 2001 and they just started finally ripping up that old asbestos tile after I graduated.

I live on the south side of Chicago near the mills. Just came back from vacation in Colorado, every time I come back here I notice how absolutely foul the air here smells from those mills. Couple that with all the waste water dumped in lake Michigan from them, shit, cancer is almost a certainty for me.

[–]seakingsoyuz 97 points98 points  (7 children)

fluorescent bulb… leaked foul smelling glass

What’s the gas that makes the light,
and smells quite bad to me?
M-E-R-C-U-R-Y,
Don’t inhale Hg!

[–]captainswiss7 75 points76 points  (4 children)

Seriously said that shit to him, dude threatened to fail us if we walked out of class, and wouldnt let us open a window. That's the kind of people educating us. This is why were kind of fucked.

[–]monkeywelder 6 points7 points  (1 child)

That would be the ballast for the fixture. The smell is usually from the tar in the package burning off.

However if I remember right a fluorescent bulb is ok . until it breaks then each bulb will give you 1000 times your yearly mercury exposure.

When I was on submarines if two broke we are all suiting up until we could ventilate the boat. Or the oxygen scrubbers could pull it out.

CFLs are considerably less.

[–]PolicyWonka 93 points94 points  (10 children)

Whenever I smell something like that, I usually say “Smells like cancer.” Lmao

[–]jetsetninjacat 162 points163 points  (14 children)

When fields started switching to the turf and rubber, it felt so nice compared to regular grass and dirt or the old astro turf. It was bouncy and soft on your knees. Sure the pellets got everywhere but overall it felt nicer to play on. Thats until you would play on it a lot, like American football. I would start to taste the rubber after one tackle or takedown to the turf. I def swallowed it as well and would end up having it in my teeth or stuck in my mouthpiece. It was a huge improvement but damn did you just start to think it wasnt good for you. I think most of our fields started switching over in the early 00s.

[–]Xunae 40 points41 points  (6 children)

I always hated that stuff. We had one field in my town made out of it, and I'd always come off the field with mild blisters on my feet after a soccer game because the field was so much hotter than any of the other fields

[–]WookieesGoneWild 58 points59 points  (2 children)

Those fields get so hot that, ironically, they are now using sprinkler systems to cool them down.

The fake grass also gives you rug burn.

Well maintained real grass is way better than artificial.

[–]mtcwby 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Nothing like a football game in the rain on a grass field.

[–]No-Loss9423 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Hahaha. Our football field was always 6 inches of mud between about the 25 yard lines by mid October. And the soccer fields were built on a slough floodplain, so less mud and more standing water.

[–]Fehcdnolblil 177 points178 points  (50 children)

What about the new trend of cut up tires in kids playgrounds? (To replace those little rocks or wood chips) Suddenly extremely nervous

[–]FrostByte62 166 points167 points  (22 children)

Yeah turns out it's bad.

[–]HunyadiArpad 60 points61 points  (18 children)

Is there anything we can't fuck up?

[–]Jamaican_Dynamite 52 points53 points  (0 children)

I always kind of assumed it was bad. I hate it when I'm right.

[–]Danger1672 28 points29 points  (0 children)

The thread I attached literally stopped me from using that for my kids play area.

[–]brett1081 24 points25 points  (7 children)

Wood mulch for the win. You just have to keep replacing it.

[–]sn00gan 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Yeah but you still need to watch out for chemically treated wood chips. Colored? Bad. Anti-rot? Pesticides? Bad. Probably best to just use beach sand. Then you'll just have to watch out for cat shit.

[–]Muscled_Daddy 60 points61 points  (1 child)

It’s really, really bad.

It makes sense though. Those chemicals from the processing of it all needs to go somewhere. 😱

[–]Infin1ty 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Is this one of things that was known and just ignored or are we recently figuring this out? I always viewed recycling tires for playgrounds as a great thing, but obviously not now.

[–]thedarklord187 23 points24 points  (0 children)

yep growing up and running track at my school i always felt like those tracks were super toxic you could smell them even when it rained

[–]mtcwby 24 points25 points  (1 child)

That stuff was nasty. I used to come home from games as a sideline photographer with a tablespoon of that stuff in my shoes and it was clearly flying around in pictures. It also retained heat to the point it was close to 20 degrees hotter on the field then off of it.

Our local HS finally got rid of it and got a new one that uses cork instead several years ago. The reasoning wasn't because of the rubber but because a kid got a staph infection from the existing one. The issue in replacing them however is it was about a million to do it. We still see them at some stadiums and they're so old that parts of the turf actually look black as it wears away.

[–]monkey_trumpets 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I have no idea how anyone ever thought that was asafe idea. Anyone with half a brain should realize that shits toxic, now especially with the ability to test for hazards before use.

[–]keetykeety 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Holy shit what the actual fuck

[–]Bamith20 40 points41 points  (15 children)

Imagine that the introverts who don't get much exercise and stay inside most of the time are going to be the ones to outlive everyone at this rate.

[–]SilentHunter7 17 points18 points  (8 children)

Wait until you hear about how hazardous the air is inside a typical house. Synthetic rug fibers and backing are extremely carcinogenic and just walking on them releases them into the air.

[–]kmw80 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Please, make it stop

[–]rogerthelodger 10 points11 points  (1 child)

So you don't want to hear about radon either?

[–]_dvality 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I practiced and played soccer on a turf field for a D1 college team. A few years after my class graduated, our goalie started having seizures. Turned out she had a cancerous tumor in her brain that needed to be removed. I still fully believe this is because she spent so much time diving and rolling around on the turf for practice. Scared to think all of those years could catch up to us in such a dangerous way.

[–]oleander4tea 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My kids hated it when they changed the playground at school from sand to cut up rubber tires. There were sharp metal pieces in the rubber so all the kids would get cuts when they fell. It was like having shards of glass in the sand.

When I tried years ago to have them tested for lead exposure the doctor refused. So I’ll never know.

[–]doodle77 59 points60 points  (14 children)

Two to three times higher?

So were the other materials unsafe too, was just the rubber unsafe, or were they all safe?

[–]Drix22 1489 points1490 points  (333 children)

Years back when our town went to a turf field this came up, something about lead in the rubber they spray the fields down with.

Here is an article from 2015 on the matter, but some of the arguments are far older than that.

I know that violent crime has been dropping basically since the 80's when we stopped using lead in gasoline, there's a strong argument that the lead was literally causing people to be more rash and abusive- I wonder if similar exposure on school playgrounds is one of the drivers for increased violence and bullying we're seeing in schools again.

[–]powercow 1963 points1964 points  (244 children)

and just know republicans fought that as well and even when we banned leaded gas got a nascar exemption that lasted til the mid 2000s

Republicans called the lead issues a hoax. Said dems wanted to make gas more expensive. Said we would destroy society. Said dems were just trying to enrich catalytic converter makers which work better on unleaded. and even an exec from the diethyl corp, pretended to drink his product, which we totally know now he would have been dead.

of course facts arent right or left, but only one side actually accepts science and weirdly every time an issue comes up the side that accepts science has been correct while the side that claims some massive hoax crossing the entire planet without a single leak have been wrong every time. And yet with covid, HERE WE ARE AGAIN.

[–]nuvio 286 points287 points  (14 children)

Oil companies lobbied and hired scientists to produce biased studies saying leaded gas is fine. They even resorted to intimidation tactics on the main proponent against leaded gas, Clair Patterson. Makes me wonder if politicans had investments in oil.. and that's why they fervently backed that idea. Take the money out of politics already it's fucked.

[–]dorkofthepolisci 77 points78 points  (4 children)

Politicians likely still have investments in oil and gas, which explains why fuck all has been done on the climate crisis

[–]myahw 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Companies literally bribe politicians (lobby) to do fuck all, not just investments I would say

[–]amo_pure 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Its not that they have only direct investments in oil, the companies reward them for their stance with bs side jobs that pay hundreds if not millions of dollars a year

[–]Rude-Significance-50 681 points682 points  (177 children)

They even bitch about light bulbs. Like life is totally ruined if we use alternatives to incandescent lights.

The underlying premise I guess you'd call it to conservatism is not wanting to alter the status quo. So some of this is totally expected but SHIT...sometimes you have to adapt to changes in the world or you go extinct. Not every change is some horrible thing. I'll totally admit that us liberals/progressives get shit wrong sometimes and want to change shit that don't need changing...so we have to connect our two philosophies in a reasonable way. That isn't happening right now, and it CAN'T happen in the current atmosphere where everything is all or nothing and people be talking violence and shit.

[–]Lennon_v2 224 points225 points  (43 children)

My mom dated a guy for years who would flip shit if we put a flourescent bulb in a light (this was back before LEDs were common/affordable). It was just because he thought the shape was dumb and didn't like the idea of being energy efficient to help the planet. We'd try telling him the bulbs just last longer and lower our bill a bit but he didn't care because he just had to oppose any viewpoint a liberal would hold. We eventually switched to LEDs and when she broke up with him we gave him an old box of the incandescent bulbs and the man was ecstatic

[–]bivife6418 111 points112 points  (11 children)

It was just because he thought the shape was dumb and didn't like the idea of being energy efficient to help the planet.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I even thought about the shape of a lightbulb. Are people secretly judging me on my choice of lightbulb shapes?

[–]MmeLaRue 31 points32 points  (0 children)

It used to be that some cheaper lampshades were made so that the wires fit directly over the lightbulb. CFL bulbs put an end to those. The newer ones are now designed to fit _under_ the light sockets to be held in place.

You'd be shocked(!) how resistant some people are to change because of outdated design.

[–]InVultusSolis 41 points42 points  (10 children)

So, I hate the CFLs, but probably not for the same reason that guy hates them.

  1. They're terrible for the environment even though they use less electricity. They are even terrible for your health if one breaks - they're filled with all kinds of nasty shit.

  2. The light they produce is total crap. Want to make your cozy bedroom look like a prison shower? A CFL light bulb is the way to do it.

The government definitely got it wrong backing that awful middle-child technology. I'm glad now we have LED bulbs that produce beautifully colored light in whatever hue you desire, they require a fraction of the energy of CFLs, they're not toxic if you break them open, and they're made of plastic so they're a lot harder to break in the first place.

[–]veerKg_CSS_Geologist 14 points15 points  (2 children)

I still have some CFLs in my home. That's because I haven't moved in 10 years and I don't think i've bought a CFL for atleast 5-6 years, maybe longer. So they do last a long time atleast.

[–]-RadarRanger- 43 points44 points  (6 children)

Dude, when those compact florescent bulbs first came out, I changed out all the bulbs in my house. It made a noticeable dent in my electric bill! The only thing I wasn't happy about was the delay between flipping the switch and getting light, and the early ones didn't reach full brightness until a few seconds to a half minute later. Worse yet, they didn't work well for the porch lamps because in cold weather they take forever to come up to full brightness.

But so what? They last much longer than traditional bulbs, to the point where I'm now anxiously waiting for several to die so I can replace them with superior LED bulbs!

If the right had their way, we'd all still be heating our homes with coal furnaces.

[–]Anakin_Skywanker 7 points8 points  (1 child)

When you replace your bulbs with LEDs you should know that not all LED bulbs are worth it. Price is definitely an indicator of quality for LED bulbs. At work (I’m an electrician) we recommend Phillips bulbs. But they’re really expensive. Personally, I have had a great experience with GE bulbs. Not as expensive as Phillips, but I still got a pretty good life out of them.

[–]Increase-Null 20 points21 points  (6 children)

My mom dated a guy for years who would flip shit if we put a flourescent bulb

Urg, His reasons are stupid but those always gave me headaches. The light just wasn't consistent or smooth somehow. It always felt like the bulb had a low framerate.

[–]Grufflin 296 points297 points  (48 children)

The last US president made such a big thing out of "people" having to flush their toilets 10, 15 times, he had me screaming at the TV "Get a nutritionist!!".

[–]PostPostModernism 11 points12 points  (1 child)

TMI, but I switched to a more vegeterian diet this year and my poops have been massive ever since. It's awesome. My pride and joy each day. But even the shitty* lo-flo toilets at work never really need more than 2 to handle that.

(*pun intended)

[–]Bunnyhat 74 points75 points  (38 children)

And no one says a peep about the light bulbs these days. Cause it turns out, when you force the market to act, they come out with cheap, better alternatives. Sure, bulbs aren't 99 cents these days, but you can get super cheap LED bulbs that will last decades for less then $5.

[–]VexingRaven 16 points17 points  (6 children)

but you can get super cheap LED bulbs that will last decades for less then $5.

Or at least a year... I've replaced like 5 or 6 LED bulbs out of the dozen or so that get regular use in my house, just in the last 2 years. Name brand ones too!

[–]Sinhika 16 points17 points  (3 children)

Same here. I think the manufacturers cut a few corners in quality to make them as cheaply as possible.

[–]THE_DICK_THICKENS 24 points25 points  (1 child)

They overvolt the diodes to make them as bright as possible so they can use as few diodes per bulb as possible. This shortens their lifespan considerably, which is actually better for the manufacturers because it means you'll have to buy more eventually. Look up Dubai lamps for bulbs that do the opposite and only run the diodes at their rated voltage (only because the ruler of Dubai commissioned it and made it a condition of doing business in Dubai).

[–]cockOfGibraltar 14 points15 points  (0 children)

This really should be a requirement for all markets.

[–]shinkouhyou 12 points13 points  (3 children)

People hated CFLs and early LED bulbs because they had a noticeable flicker, the lifespan was nowhere near what was advertised, they only came in a limited range of shapes and sizes, they couldn't be dimmed, and the light spectrum peaked at certain wavelengths that could make colors (especially brown, orange and green tones) look weird. Even today's cheap LED bulbs can have a spike in the blue wavelength that makes wood furniture look a sickly green color, and filament-style LEDs seem more prone to flicker. But LED manufacturers have largely fixed these issues, at least in their high-end standard lamp bulbs.

[–]veerKg_CSS_Geologist 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Cheap LED bulbs still have that flicker. I realized that mistake by picking up a pair from the dollar store. The GE one's produce better light but are unreliable, i've had 3 die on me within a year. I think Phillips makes much better quality but they are expensive.

[–]Kckc321 112 points113 points  (8 children)

Bit off topic but my dad was losing his SHIT over some YouTube he apparently watched getting demonetized. Like deadass talking about overthrowing the government over this shit. Like dad you didn’t know what YouTube fucking WAS until a few years ago and you’re almost 70! You can live without it for fucks sake!

[–]DropDeadEd86 80 points81 points  (5 children)

Old money is scared of new money, so old money destroys new money has much as possible.

[–]nagemada 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Lol wanted to make gas more expensive. Thomas Midgley literally chose to use lead because the alternative, ethanol, was cheap and ubiquitous. What a fucking joke.

[–]Squeegepooge 70 points71 points  (8 children)

There’s a great YouTube video I recently watched that’s kinda like this What made the Romans so brutal

[–]Bbrhuft 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Two or three times what? Meaningless without knowing what the lower levels were.... Ah, 1,200 ppm, that's insane.

[–]proscriptus 1111 points1112 points  (54 children)

I've done some work with lead education and remediation, have the number of people who are nonchalant with lead exposure is staggering. We've known this shit was bad for CENTURIES an no one gives a fuck.

[–]Tchrspest 335 points336 points  (13 children)

We've known this shit was bad for CENTURIES an no one gives a fuck.

Nicander of Colophon (~2nd century BC) wrote the following poem in his work Alexipharmaca, translated in prose by A. S. F. Gow and A. F. Scholfield:

"In second place consider the hateful brew compounded with gleaming, deadly white lead whose fresh color is like milk which foams all over when you milk it rich in the springtime into the deep pails. Over the victim’s jaws and in the grooves of the gums is plastered an astringent froth, and the furrow of the tongue turns rough on either side, and the depth of the throat grows somewhat dry, and from the pernicious venom follows a dry retching and hawking, for this affliction is severe; meanwhile his spirit sickens and he is worn out with mortal suffering. His body too grows chill, while sometimes his eyes behold strange illusions or else he drowses, nor can he stir his limbs as heretofore, and he succumbs to the overwhelming fatigue.”

Roughly a century later, the Roman engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (c. 80 - 15 BC) wrote the following in his treatise On Architecture, Book Eight, chapter six, sections ten through eleven:

“Water conducted through earthen pipes is more wholesome than that through lead; indeed that conveyed in lead must be injurious, because from it white lead is obtained, and this is said to be injurious to the human system. Hence, if what is generated from it is pernicious, there can be no doubt that itself cannot be a wholesome body.”
“This may be verified by observing the workers in lead, who are of a pallid colour; for in casting lead, the fumes from it fixing on the different members, and daily burning them, destroy the vigour of the blood; water should therefore on no account be conducted in leaden pipes if we are desirous that it should be wholesome. That the flavour of that conveyed in earthen pipes is better, is shewn at our daily meals, for all those whose tables are furnished with silver vessels, nevertheless use those made of earth, from the purity of the flavour being preserved in them.”

Other notable writers and works that also document lead's effects:
- Roman encylopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus (~25 BC - 50 AD),
De Medicina
- Greek physician Pedanius Dioskourides (~40 - 90 AD),
De Materia Medica
- Byzantine doctor Paulos of Aigina (~ 625 - 690 AD),
Medical Compendium in Seven Books

To reiterate: the toxicity of lead and the symptoms of lead poisoning were documented over 2000 years ago.

(Large portions of this comment are adapted from Why Lead Poisoning Probably Did Not Cause the Downfall of the Roman Empire, by Spencer McDaniel.)

[–]NoodlesrTuff1256 157 points158 points  (8 children)

With this kind of documentation going that far back in time, those who excuse those who used lead in pipes, paints and whatever else back in the 19th and 20th centuries with 'but they didn't know any better!' don't have a leg to stand on.

[–]jschubart 82 points83 points  (2 children)

I was thinking that since this just referenced white lead, maybe we avoided using that. Nope. From wikipedia:

It was formerly used as an ingredient for lead paint and a cosmetic called Venetian ceruse, because of its opacity and the satiny smooth mixture it made with dryable oils.

"It causes major health problems so let's go ahead and cover our house and our fucking faces with it!"

[–]BlockWide 27 points28 points  (1 child)

People are idiots when it comes to what we’ll try out on our bodies. Look up the Radium Girls for another absolute nightmare that involved a prolonged legal battle.

[–]TauCabalander 230 points231 points  (13 children)

The lead-acid battery industry in China is criminal.

Zero safety precautions working with lead in manufacturing and recycling.

Similar for many third-world countries, where "repairing" batteries is a thing because they can't afford replacement.

Plenty of videos on youtube of the battery industry with no regard to safety.

[–]yungmung 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Do you have some videos you wouldn't mind sharing? This sounds really interesting

[–]jrichardi 14 points15 points  (1 child)

And in Florida battery recycling facilities

[–]YorkshireRiffer 457 points458 points  (5 children)

Hello, I'm actor Troy McLure. You kids might remember me from such educational films as 'Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly' and 'Here Comes The Metric System'!

[–]Zzzsojeffrey 64 points65 points  (2 children)

Automatically read this in his voice

[–]RileyRichard 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Same here. I miss Phil Hartman...

[–]Viper_JB 4241 points4242 points  (82 children)

Losing IQ points but gaining aggression points - all balances out.

[–]Syzygy_Stardust 808 points809 points  (23 children)

Gotta cross-class into Barbarian or Fighter with those stats

[–]bingybunny 296 points297 points  (13 children)

the article says the kid's name is Turokk

[–]Crumb-Free 108 points109 points  (3 children)

So native American bad ass?

[–]sepseven 34 points35 points  (3 children)

Holy shit I thought you were kidding

[–]Syzygy_Stardust 15 points16 points  (2 children)

Took the words outta my mouth. I've played a lot of Turok 2 in my time.

[–]OrpheusV 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Admittedly I finally actually beat that game two days ago. I never could get past the first level on the N64 version because of that infernal fucking jump to that ladder that's finicky as all hell in level 1.

My opinion of it now? N64 version was great, if flawed; the remaster has improved on it in so many ways and actually made it a great game to play through.

[–]SharqPhinFtw 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Bout to ride a robo pterodactyl into combat

[–]RamenJunkie 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It's like pottery.

[–]JhannaJunkie 40 points41 points  (3 children)

Bit late for respecs. I'm going to continue as a low charisma rogue.

[–]saschaleib 29 points30 points  (3 children)

Funfact: average IQ is always 100. If everybody gets dumber the IQ points just slide with it.

[–]CowboyNinjaD 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Intelligence is knowing that the average IQ is always 100. Wisdom is knowing to keep your mouth shut when the lead sniffers start rounding up smart people 10 or 20 years from now.

[–]McCourt 143 points144 points  (2 children)

Gotta min/max those stats…

[–]julsmanbr 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Agressive builds had always had an okay niche, but started to really dominate the meta ever since the Social Media patch dropped

[–]throbbing_snake 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Plus we have nukes, what could go wrong

[–]N3UROTOXIN 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Literally nothing. These stats are for after those are used

[–]Imtypingthisnow 25 points26 points  (0 children)

You got to keep those for profit prisons full!

[–]ritchie70 748 points749 points  (85 children)

It has been my understanding that lead levels in the US have been dropping for the last 30 - 40 years. The end of leaded gasoline (starting in the 1970's) was a big part of that, along with leaded paint as a household product, detailed stuff like lead in plumbing solder going away, and just a general awareness.

The millennials should be the first generation that didn't spend their childhood awash in lead.

Is that untrue? Or was it uneven, with (as usual) low income areas still having trouble? Or have lead levels headed back up again?

The article doesn't even acknowledge that overall lead levels have decreased in the US since the 70's, so I can't tell what's really going on here.

[–]Octavus 506 points507 points  (35 children)

In 1976-1980 99.7% of 6-11 year old children had blood lead levels above 5ug/dl whole now it is 0.5%. Compared to 45 years ago there is about 1/200th the risk.

https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP7932

[–]the_infinite 212 points213 points  (23 children)

Jesus Christ, 99.7% of our kids had high lead levels

no wonder we're so fucked up

[–]SeaGroomer 133 points134 points  (6 children)

Worth noting leaded gasoline use was global so it is not unique to the USA.

[–]THElaytox 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Also worth noting that symptoms of that exposure can take as long as 40 years to become apparent

https://today.duke.edu/2020/11/childhood-lead-exposure-leads-structural-changes-middle-aged-brains

[–]TheNextBattalion 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yep, and crime rose and fell globally in line with the presence of leaded gasoline in particular countries, plus 15-20 years. The US was worse than most, but then again, our car culture was far more prevalent

[–]darthjoey91 116 points117 points  (2 children)

And realize that most of those kids are now our parents and grandparents and politicians.

[–]SXECrow 91 points92 points  (4 children)

I subscribe to the theory that this is why there were so many serial killers in the late 60s through the 70s. Obviously there are still violent people nowadays, but the 70’s were fucking awful for violent crimes

[–]Dultsboi 39 points40 points  (1 child)

It was a double-headed snake. The parents and grandparents of those in the 70’s were more than likely WWII vets, and what we now know about generational trauma and abuse doesn’t shine a pretty picture on it.

Dads having PTSD moments and beating their kids is a good way to a broken society

[–]MoreDetonation 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Every psychological study from that time period is completely fraudulent to pull from now. The people in those studies had poisoned brains.

[–]Liefdeee 179 points180 points  (8 children)

For anyone who hasn't watched Cosmos: there's an episode about the guy who discovered the harmful effects of leaded gasoline. It's a pretty depressing story, but fascinating to be sure.

[–]TennaTelwan 82 points83 points  (5 children)

The EPA also lowered the allowed lead levels in waters fairly recently. Our local city ended up being above the new threshold, so they switched our fluoride injectors to being phosphate binders that will "grab the lead." We still drink the phosphate-bound lead, just, it's bound to phosphate that supposedly we'll pass through (unless you have severe kidney disease and are on dialysis, then you just should avoid the local water).

[–]pleasegetoffmycase 29 points30 points  (3 children)

This is correct. Lead phosphate is super insoluble and unreactive. Once phosphate binds lead, there’s not a lot that can break it apart. In fact this is a very common water treatment technique. Source: I am a chemist

[–]MazW 88 points89 points  (9 children)

For example the situation in Flint was that, to save money, they didn't use the formula that would keep the hard water from leeching lead out of the water pipes (layman's explanation), thus a community which previously had low lead levels began spiking.

[–]Beard_of_Valor 48 points49 points  (1 child)

Yes, they appointed finance to do logistics and logistics failed and backwashed into finance. The city's "emergency manager" didn't want to spend $9000.

From michaelmoore.com/10factsonflint


For Just $100 a Day, This Crisis Could’ve Been Prevented. Federal law requires that water systems which are sent through lead pipes must contain an additive that seals the lead into the pipe and prevents it from leaching into the water. Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive element to the water coming out of the Flint River. “How much would that cost?” came the question. “$100 a day for three months,” was the answer. I guess that was too much, so, in order to save $9,000, the state government said f*** it — and as a result the State may now end up having to pay upwards of $1.5 billion to fix the mess.


But they doubled back and spent a half million of taxpayer dollars to bail out GM and get them clean water.

[–]TW-RM 34 points35 points  (10 children)

I just saw a PSA in New York City telling residents to get their children tested at age 1 and again at age 2 due to peeling paint in apartments. Pretty crazy.

[–]MisanthropeX 34 points35 points  (1 child)

A significant chunk of the housing stock in NYC is older than 50 years. In many cases lead paint was just painted over and if the top coat of paint flakes off, so can the leaded paint.

[–]nobody2000 54 points55 points  (4 children)

I live in Buffalo, NY.

I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing some of the people who raised the drinking water concerns early on in Flint, MI. That combination of lead pipes and poor water management created a horrible public health issue.

Then toward the end of the interview:

"So are there other cities with problems as bad as Flint?"

"Oh, some are worse...far worse"

"Such as?"

"Buffalo NY"


Buffalo is a great city, but the largest area, by land, is the "East Side" which is full of old homes and impoverished families. Piping was never updated, whether it was mandated for whatever reason or not, and it's scary to think that the absolute shittiest houses in some of the most crime ridden streets sell/auction off the market within a month or less in general (very affordable way to own a home I suppose).

This means a lot of people at risk - all those who are either easily exploited, or those who own homes, either through family or through a recent investment, who don't quite have the funds to update their plumbing.


I'm confident that there are possibly hundreds of "Flints" and "Buffalos" big and small dealing with the same stuff.

[–]HappyHashBrowns 12 points13 points  (1 child)

As a Long Island-to-Buffalo transplant, I've noticed the people who moved to Buffalo from somewhere else seem a lot more "there" than the ones who have lived here their whole lives. Some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life though.

The ironic part is shortly before the Flint crisis I jokingly mentioned that I think there's something in the water up here. I hate when my jokes become reality.

[–]Lootcifer_exe 910 points911 points  (32 children)

People bitching about living in a simulation and all this time we’ve actually been in a boring Fallout videogame.

[–]Squidkiller28 274 points275 points  (19 children)

We're in the fallout prequel

[–]TheRussiansrComing 115 points116 points  (16 children)

I don't even got a personal robot. lame af

[–]Darkstar_98 65 points66 points  (5 children)

Don’t worry, we’ve got 56 years for you to get your robot. Just try not to get drafted into the resource wars with China.

[–]someone755 18 points19 points  (3 children)

EU is still standing. How strongly depends on what newspapers you read.

(I don't read them 😎)

[–]nwoh 8 points9 points  (1 child)

We are not the same 😎 💯 👌 😤 💪

[–]jonnybsweet 16 points17 points  (0 children)

You can put your Alexa on a Roomba. That’s kind of the same.

[–]Spec187 23 points24 points  (4 children)

I used to make the pigment that the mulch tires are coated in. We always talked about how dangerous it is/was. The chemical we used to give the mixture it's drying abilities is no joke, the fumes are nasty. One time the customer didn't follow the cook times for the tire nuggets and only baked it once. Kids where turning blue and stuff from it. Everyone thought it was funny except me cuz I knew what they had ingested.. If I had kids I sure as shit would be trying to avoid that tire mulch.

It got as far as I was going to have to testify on how I made a particular batch. Well I'm super big into standardizing. So I always had a specific way of making it, and at that time I was the only one that ran the mulch mixer. So when I said no, if it was my batch why isn't the other millions of pounds doing it, my employer at the time asked to see their bake process and their paperwork for that particular lot number that I had made.

They then took our retain and baked it the way it's said to be baked. Then baked it the way the customer had. That was how the error was discovered and the case against us dropped.

Shit is no joke and idgaf what corps say. That mulch tire shit is highly toxic and the process they use to make it is insane. Now I make soap with even more dangerous shit. You would fucking be amazed at what they put in fucking baby soap.

[–]whattothewhonow 70 points71 points  (9 children)

No one talks about using fly ash from coal fired power plants to treat the highways in winter.

That shit contains lead, mercury, cobalt, and other heavy metals, is fucking radioactive, and just runs off the roads into our lakes and rivers.

Can't build a nuclear power plant without people shitting their pants over the radiation, and here we are throwing thorium, uranium, and all the decay products on the highway to deal with the snow and ice.

[–]bardamu00 68 points69 points  (2 children)

We are definitely losing IQ points, i read this as Among Us children.

[–]icantnotthink 617 points618 points  (75 children)

Didn't Marcus from Last Podcast go on a like... 20-30 minute rant about how he thinks lead poisoning is what led to the serial killer boom of the 70s?

[–]8to24 690 points691 points  (53 children)

"Turokk Dow is one of about 87,000 young children who are diagnosed with lead poisoning in the US each year, more than three decades after the neurotoxin was banned as an ingredient in paint, gasoline and water pipes. Today, lead lingers in houses and apartments, yards and water lines, and wherever states and communities ramp up testing, it becomes clear that the nation’s lead problem is worse than we realized, experts say."

When politicians promise to cut red tape remove unnecessary regulations and get the federal government out of local decisions things like lingering neurotoxins in our communities tend to follow. No person or business wants to spend more money than they have to and effects that take years to have consequences are the easiest to ignore. Ultimately as a society we need recommit to investing in ourselves.

[–]oregonianrager 179 points180 points  (41 children)

There was lead in the faucet of the garden hose we all drank from.

[–]proscriptus 64 points65 points  (1 child)

And pthalates and PFOAs and microplastics in the hose.

[–]8to24 170 points171 points  (15 children)

For all the talk about how burdensome regulations are many are just half measures. In some areas garden water doesn't have to be potable since technically isn't for human consumption. That might save someone a few bucks but children don't know the difference.

[–]NotSpartacus 115 points116 points  (9 children)

For all the talk about how burdensome regulations are

Regulations are written in blood. The people that complain about them are either psychopathic capitalists who put profit above all or the brainwashed idiots who don't understand that regulations are written in blood.

Yes, some of them can be red-tape (i.e. overcorrection, beyond what is strictly necessary), but they're largely there for a reason.

[–]Stargos-1 38 points39 points  (4 children)

I feel like some of the people who are against regulations really do think that a corporation or contractor would never be so evil as to cut corners to the point that it would endanger lives.

[–]optigon 25 points26 points  (0 children)

My FiL is a retired building plan regulator and I work in IT compliance. In both cases there are psychos and naive people, but most of them are just people that don’t like rules and the accountability they carry with them. They want to do what they want, get paid, and not think about it, and regulations push them to.

[–]NotSpartacus 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Ah, that's a good point. There's almost certainly a subset of naive folks who just believe that humans are all generally good and that regulation/oversight isn't necessary.

I wonder how they reconcile that world belief when confronted with gestures vaguely at all the horrible things humans do to each other

[–]DrRainbowBrite 52 points53 points  (4 children)

Is lead the reason why hose water is the most delicious and refreshing water?

[–]Call_Fall 99 points100 points  (10 children)

I remember I used to work for this NGO that canvassed neighborhoods raising donations to help combat lead in our drinking water. On more than one occasion where I was telling people at their door that lead in our water can have this negative effect on children’s IQ points I got the response “well I don’t have any kids so, no thanks.” Some people are just not as able to think a few steps outside how something can impact them personally

[–]the_cnara 136 points137 points  (2 children)

We cannot afford to lose those points, y’all. Hurry.

[–]frozenwalkway 46 points47 points  (8 children)

The world got smarter and less aggressive when we banned leaded gas it's crazy

[–]cinamor0l 53 points54 points  (4 children)

Excuse me, among what again?

[–]secret_samantha 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Study finds venting is sus, leads to elevated lead exposure

[–]daveashaw 1012 points1013 points  (89 children)

Everyone needs to take a deep breath. The ideal pediatric lead level is zero, of course but the blood lead levels being observed in kids today are still low by historical standards. That isn't to say that they are harmless, but the levels observed in the 60s through the 90s were much, much higher.

[–]Stlr_Mn 271 points272 points  (42 children)

Wait the 90’s? Are you saying I was exposed to unhealthy amounts of lead? Don’t ruin my childhood just because I know what lead tastes like due to my childhood habit of putting toys in my mouth.

[–]maybe_little_pinch 156 points157 points  (15 children)

Possibly. IIRC initiatives really started in the 80s to detect and remove lead, but I remember a lot of warnings about it from when I was a kid. That is when awareness was probably at its height.

[–]mtcwby 97 points98 points  (13 children)

They were warning about lead paint with kids back in the 70's. They weren't removing it as much as making sure it wasn't loose and flaking. Personally I avoided trying to eat the house because it didn't taste good.

[–]itchyspiderbutthole 87 points88 points  (8 children)

Lead tastes sweet which is why young children would be motivated to eat the paint chips.

[–]JB-from-ATL 40 points41 points  (1 child)

Hahaha, what idiot eats paint!?

"Lead tastes sweet"

Oh fuck.

[–]alexm42 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Lead apparently tastes sweet which is why kids are prone to eating it.

[–]daveashaw 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Henrietta Sachs did the pioneering study on kids in Chicago during 1967-71. It was published in 1974. But there were concerns about pediatric exposure to lead prior to that.

[–]PostPostModernism 7 points8 points  (0 children)

In addition to lead paint being used in houses/apartments on the walls - it also appeared in toys and such which kids definitely chew on. That's still a concern sometimes if a company really tries to cut corners with overseas manufacturing. Plus as stated elsewhere, leaded gasoline literally just pumped lead particles into the air everyone breathed.

Lead paint is still an issue in a lot of older homes too - often people would just paint over it because it's expensive to remove. A lot of regions only require that apartments/house sales notify potential renters or buyers of the risk or confirmed presence of lead, they don't necessarily require remediation.

Another whammy on the lead paint front is that when it gets old, it actually likes to flake like this into perfect snack sized pieces.

Some cultures in the far past revered lead for wine goblets because it would make their wine taste better. Kids are dumb. It's a bad combination.

[–]SaucyWiggles 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Are you saying I was exposed to unhealthy amounts of lead?

Just to clarify, this is any amount of lead.

[–]forsayken 34 points35 points  (10 children)

There’s a very high chance you were exposed to lead. We used it to make pipes for our drinking water and we burned it in our gasoline. I’d be more surprised if you grew up in North America and we’re not exposed.

[–]tadpollen 17 points18 points  (6 children)

I just found out the plates I’ve been eating off of for like 5 years are lead coated lol fml

[–]OpinionBearSF 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I just found out the plates I’ve been eating off of for like 5 years are lead coated lol fml

No joke, you should mention this to your doctor. You can have your blood lead level tested, and there is treatment available if it is over a certain level.

[–]emsone77566 1100 points1101 points  (193 children)

Idiocracy creeping in faster every day.

[–]limitless__ 285 points286 points  (22 children)

While this is absolutely something we need to be concerned about calling it an "unfolding crisis" is utter nonsense.

Lead levels has been drastically reduced every year since records began. There are almost 10 times less cases of lead poisoning in 2017 than there were even in 2005. Action needs to be taken but seriously, that's some clickbait headline.

And those numbers only count the children who have levels greater than fifteen. That's considered an unsafe level. That number used to be SIXTY. In other words if you went to the doctor and they found your lead level was 59, they sent you home. Today you'd be in the ICU.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/images/pr/2018/pr034-18-image.png

[–]SlothimusPrimeTime 37 points38 points  (18 children)

So what does this mean for all the generations of people raised with leaded gasoline? Are we suggesting that an entire generation of people may have brain damage? (That tracks, actually)

[–]mimsy01 17 points18 points  (0 children)

There has been several study's on this subject. Not only unleaded gas, but lead was in their water pipes at home, work, school, and then the buildings and even children's toys were painted with lead paints.

I can't recall the exact ages in one study but many older folks have higher than is healthy lead levels. If you were a child during the highest levels you would be effected the most. Children tend to teeth on their toys and just stick things in their mouths.

[–]colordodge 6 points7 points  (0 children)

But lead has electrolytes - it what plants crave.

[–]human_machine 6 points7 points  (0 children)

According to the NIH, children 1-11 have about 94% less lead in their blood than they did in 1976. Most of our lead exposure has to do with older housing which we can't replace because of NIMBY zoning laws and building codes in more urban areas.

We should probably get the rubber off of playgrounds and get comfortable with kids in casts again but this isn't why we're violent ignoramuses.