On this morning’s Today programme Sarah Montagu expressed surprise and amazement at George Monbiot’s suggestion, in his Guardian blog, that the significant drop in violent crime worldwide over the last 20 years could be down to the banning of lead in petrol and paint. And while a presenter on an all purpose news programme could be forgiven for being surprised at this possibility, should not the professor of toxicology who she interviewed, an acknowledged expert on the neurotoxicity of lead, have made the connection?
It is not that the evidence is not there. Read Monbiot’s blog, the Mother Jones blog that he quotes or his own article on his site which references many of the papers, and you will be awash in research – and research which is generally acknowledged (even by Alistair Hay, the toxicologist interviewed by the Today programme) to be good, reliable research and ‘convincing’.
Read Bernard Gesch who has been asking for years ‘what is it that causes people to commit crimes?’ and who has been suggesting, for as many years, that upbringing is far less important than nutritional status, which includes contamination by heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury.
But although it would be great if you were to read it and be convinced, how much better if prison governors, the mandarins in the Home Office, the police, and the probation service were to do so and, even better, act on the information!