"Looney gas" and lead poisoning
Last week, Mother Jones published a really fascinating article arguing that the crime wave that swept through America between the 1960s and 1980s can largely be blamed on leaded gasoline
— and the subsequent lead poisoning of an entire generation of Americans. For more background on the dangers of leaded gas, I suggest reading this post by Deborah Blum. Essentially, it's an excerpt from her fantastic book, The Poisoner's Handbook
. In it, she tells the story of the history of leaded gas
— a substance that was known to be dangerous even in the 1920s — and the conspiracy to sweep that danger under the rug.