Essay On Lead Poisoning

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The Romans used lead for just about everything they possibly could. It was used in cosmetics, jewelry, utensils, cooking pots, plumbing pipes (Powered By Osteons), seasoning for food, and as a wine preservative. It was even used for pigment in paint. “‘Crazy as a painter’ was an ancient catch phrase rooted in the demented behavior of lead-poisoned painters” (epa.gov). Though one may think that since the Romans used lead to make so many different things, they were unaware of the consequences to health it had, but that wasn’t the case. Romans (the ones who gained from lead use) were aware of the health problems lead exposure harbored including insanity and death. Lead was inexpensive and could be used for an abundance of diverse, useful things, so the Romans therefore merely minimized the hazards of lead poisoning while continuing to have it be present in so many areas of their everyday life. Just not in such a concentrated form. They believed that if there was only a little bit in everything, there would be limited risk of poisoning. What the Romans were unaware of was that they were creating the opportunity for people to develop chronic low-level lead poisoning. Something that could have been easily undetected since it did not show more severe symptoms as that of mass quantity…show more content…
Lead poisoning symptoms were seen clearly in some of Rome’s elites like Caligula, Nero, and Commodus. “It is said that Nero wore a breastplate of lead, ostensibly to strengthen his voice, as he fiddled and sang while Rome burned” (epa.gov). This is obviously not something that a normal human uncontaminated by lead-poisoning would have done. If men who had voice and power in Rome were not of sound mental processes due to lead, then it is possible they had a hand in making some poor decisions that could have ultimately caused the fall of the

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