Crime down

Times, 5 January 2015:

Ross Clark fails to recognise the evidence linking the removal of lead from petrol with the fall in violent crime (“Murders are down and we don’t know why”, Jan 3). Lead burden is most dangerous in utero and infancy, so high levels of exposure can be expected to manifest themselves in dysfunctional behaviour among teenagers and young adults 20 years later. In the US, lead was removed from petrol in the late Seventies and violent crime fell dramatically in the Nineties. In the UK lead was removed between 1985 and 1995 and we are seeing the benefits two decades later.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones FRCP FRCPath
Former chairman, Campaign for Lead Free Air