A Modest Proposal: Bring Back Lead Paint?

Begin sarcasm:

After watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson host The Cosmos episode on the age of the earth and lead I have decided that we should go back to using lead paint. Once upon a time, lead was everywhere- including children’s toys. There were cute little PR campaigns to convince parents that lead was both useful and safe for their children. Lead was cheap and easy to use in manufacturing. It was great for businesses.

Later on a scientist named Clair Patterson found that there were abnormal levels of lead in the environment and that the only explanation was industrial lead waste. You can bet that the companies using lead in their manufacturing were absolutely thrilled with the idea of doing away with lead. So they brought in their own scientist named Robert Kehoe. Kehoe said he was the foremost expert on lead and that all his research indicated that lead levels were perfectly safe. There was no evidence that lead in paint, gasoline, and other products was harmful. Patterson was derided as a crank for decades. Everyone in the scientific community knew that lead levels were safe. It was a fact. If everyone believes it, it must be true right?

I want to be a scientific person, so I guess that means that I shouldn’t question anything that the majority of scientists and public health accept. After all, the same arguments that are being used in favor of vaccination are the same ones used to support the use of lead paint. Levels of formaldehyde in vaccines are safe, there’s no evidence of harm, and the world’s foremost authorities support its use. Ergo, bring on the lead paint.

End sarcasm.

 

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