Looney Gas and Lead Poisoning: A Short, Sad History
About lead poisoning, they say kings of old drank from lead cups and became a bit crazy, increasing the frequency of wars.
In Japan, the traditional white face makeup was lead-based, and when a nanny breast-fed an infant future emperor, her perspiration sent a little lead down to her breasts. People believe that is why Emperor Taisho was such a loon.
And, of course, teething babies like to chew on the wood of their cradles, white paint for which was lead-based until it was outlawed in the U.S.
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