Is Lead Really the Main Cause of Violent Crime?
Kevin Drum revisits the issue of the effects of environmental lead on the rate of violent crime.. Because this is such an important issue for the public’s health and well-being—and indeed the health of our communities as communities—it’s worthwhile reading and marking the post. His post begins:
Maybe it’s just coincidence, but over the past week I’ve suddenly gotten a flurry of new responses to my January piece about lead and crime. Roughly speaking, they’re mostly complaints that crime has lots of causes, and it’s a mistake to claim that lead is preeminently important. I understand where this criticism comes from, but here’s the thing: I agree with it. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what the lead hypothesis claims to explain: not all crime, but only the specific crime wave of 1965-2010. (In America, anyway. The dates vary in other regions of the world.) So because this has cropped up again, I’m going to reproduce a post I wrote shortly after the article came out. Of all the things I didn’t explain well enough in the original piece, this is the one I most wish I had illustrated more clearly. . .