The last lead smelter in America is closing.
The last lead smelter in America will close in 2014 because the EPA has imposed another 100 million in compliance rules.
Some claim it is a backdoor effort to control firearms–but the big picture is the lead scare–it has enough energy to make this happen even if there was no gun control interest.
Heavy metal poisoning is something that harms kidneys, nerves and brains, but like anything we discuss here at JunkScience the dose makes the poison. The scaremongering is about how much lead is toxic. That’s when the cheatin’ starts in the research on toxicology and the regulatin’ begins.
The safe level of 30 mics per deciliter in the blood has been the target of the scaremongers, who claim they can show IQ effects down to below 10 mics per deciliter in the blood. The target population for preventing lead poisoning is children. So we have a great opportunity for another scare.
The influential research on lead poisoning was spiced up by cheating that was done by, among others, a pediatrician named Herbert Needleman at U of Pittsburgh, who published a landmark article in 1979 in the New England Journal of Medicineclaiming to see terrible lead effects on kid’s intelligence.
Needleman’s research was influential in setting new safe lead levels and creating a general panic. In the early 1970s, anti knock lead was eliminated from gasoline which reduced the environmental load dramatically when combined with other abatements.
The lead issue was pushed foward at the CDC by the Needleman gang who sat on key policy committees.
Lead is not so toxic at low levels as claimed by Needleman, Bellinger and others in the anti lead crusade, and other researchers and the Office on Research Integrity (ORI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could not replicate Needleman’s claims with his data. The ORI of the NIH referred the Needleman problem to the U of Pittsburgh for investigation. Imagine that. In the early 1990s he was found to have intentionally misrepresented his research.
Needleman vigorously defended his work the die was cast (sorry for the lame pun) and lead became a scare item. Needleman was eventually condemned for fraudulent research by a sealed then released findings, but he was not found guilty of misconduct.
Needleman and his fellow scaremongers were condemned by many for excessively conservative recommendations on lead levels not justified by the evidence of toxicity. Our old nemesis Joel Schwartz of Harvard who is now a doyen on air pollution, was a player as a reveiwer of Needleman’s work. Naturally he found no problems and functioned as cover more than once for Needleman’s claims.
Needleman didn’t pay much of a price for what the enviros and lefties call lying for justice. His manipulation was culling high scores and failing to make adjustments in the studies.
Vaporized or ingested lead are problematic and it deposits in tissues like bone. Levels above 30 mics per deciliter are considered problematic and above
40 require chelation therapy to encourage elimination.
Won’t have to worry about the smelter in Missouri, which was located there because of the presence of the large lead ore deposits in the ground.
Best we have limits on exposures, but eliminate by regulatory fiat from EPA amounting to 100 million in mitigation at the remaining lead smelter?
The EPA will eliminate everything that has scare effect, but they decide what has a scare value. And with a no threshold approach, any lead is bad–right?
What about the scary chemicals necessary for making computer stuff in the Silicon Valley–hear much about that?
Steve Milloy wrote insightfully on the lead problem in 2001.