Despite being one of the world’s best-known neurotoxins, lead was embraced by fast-developing nations. It was seen as nothing less than the key to their prosperity. Lead was built into the infrastructure of American cities such as Flint, lurking not only in the pipes that carried water, but also in the paint used in houses, businesses, hospitals, jails, train stations, and schools. It became part of the solder and brass fixtures in indoor plumbing, and it powered the automobiles that sped down the highways of a sprawling metro region. And yet no amount of lead exposure is safe. While its effects can be mitigated with good nutrition and health care, there is no known cure.
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