For part of the horrendous drop in American IQ. Leaded gas?
A new study conducted by researchers from Florida State University and Duke University sheds light on the use of leaded gasoline in the United States – banned since 1996 – and it likely causing significant IQ losses in the country’s population.
The authors of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week estimate that “170 million Americans alive today were exposed to high-lead levels in early childhood,” and that lead is “responsible for the loss of 824,097,690 IQ points” in the US population as of 2015.
The researchers warned that anyone in the US who was born before the ban on leaded gas in 1996 may have suffered “the cognitive consequences of lead exposure,” and that, at its worst, those who were born in the 1960s and in the 1970s – the time of the peak use of leaded gas – may have lost up to seven points of IQ, the media outlet notes.
There has been a decline, since 1950-ish, of maybe 10 points on average. That’s bad. And it’s getting worse. The two big causes are 1) smart Americans not having kids, and 2) almost all of our post-1965 imports come from sub-average populations.
This environmental angle makes some sense and it has to be a part of the equation, along with diets, drugs, Teeeeeveeeee, chemicals, etc. But, I could also see this as a partial cover-up of the two primary factors. 824 / 170 (sorry, lead heads) = 4.85. Dunno; as a 1970s exhaust huffer, I am deprived of the ability to make such calls. You?