The people most directly responsible for high concentration of environmental lead in the USA were Thomas Midgley Jr, Charles Kettering and Charles Allen Thomas. GM and Esso(Exxon) formed the Ethyl Corp. Their gasoline additive Tatraethyllead contained lead, exposing a entire generation of chirlden living in the US to dangerous levels of lead. http://www1.amherst.edu/~jwreyes/papers/LeadBehavior.pdf
“Tetraethyllead has been recognized as a contributor to soil, air and water lead pollution, and is toxic to humans. While leaded gasoline made engines more efficient, lead pollution has increased by over 625 times previous levels in the past century due partly to pollution by leaded fuel. Ethyl Corporation historically denied that tetraethyllead poses significant public health risks in excess of those associated with gasoline itself.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_Corporation
There is something eerily familiar about the efforts of the petroleum industries denial and resistance to scientific evidence that demonstrated just how dangerous lead additives were/are to the public’s health.
Special timeline: Leaded gasolinehttp://18.104.22.168/~enviror4/about/ethyl-leaded-gasoline/lead-history-timeline/
1829 — Description of lead poisoning by an anonymous Roman hermit translated by Humelbergius Secundus, 1829 (Lewis, 1985).
“Hence gout and stone afflict the human race;
Hence lazy jaundice with her saffron face;
Palsy, with shaking head and tott’ring knees.
And bloated dropsy, the staunch sot’s disease;
Consumption, pale, with keen but hollow eye,
And sharpened feature, shew’d that death was nigh.
The feeble offspring curse their crazy sires,
And, tainted from his birth, the youth expires.”