Lead Industry & the Deck of Cards

Helen Epstein has an interesting review of Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, in the current New York Review of Books. The review is worth reading to better understand the public policy problem of lead in products and the environment. But I cannot help but point out that the article could be used to provide more footnotes to the Denialists' Deck of Cards:

... The lead companies also paid scientists who produced flawed studies casting doubt on the link between lead exposure and child health problems. When University of Pittsburgh professor Herbert Needleman first showed that even children with relatively modest lead levels tended to have lower intelligence and more behavioral problems than their lead-free peers, some of these industry-backed researchers claimed that his methods were sloppy and accused him of scientific misconduct (he has since been exonerated).

The companies also hired a public relations firm to influence stories in The Wall Street Journal and other conservative news outlets, which characterized Needleman as part of a leftist plot to increase government spending on housing and other social programs...

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