In the 1965 paper entitled "Contaminated and Natural Lead Environments of Man," Clair C. Patterson made his first attempt to dispel the then prevailing view that industrial lead had increased environmental lead levels by no more than a factor of approximately two over natural levels. ... He compiled the amounts of industrial lead entering the environment from gasoline, solder, paint and pesticides and showed that they involved very substantial quantities of lead compared to the expected natural flux. He estimated the lead concentration in blood for many Americans to be over 100 times that of the natural level, and within about a factor of two of the accepted limit for symptoms of lead poisoning to occur.
-- From "Clair Cameron Patterson, 1922-1995: A Biographical Memoir" (George R. Tilton, 1998): @
A California geochemist presented in detail yesterday his argument that lead was contaminating the environment to a dangerous degree. A preliminary report by Dr. Clair C. Patterson, a research associate at the California Institute of Technology, was presented earlier in the week, and provoked the lead industry, the petroleum industry (which adds lead to gasoline) and at least one Public Health specialist to challenge his conclusions. The chief issues are whether the lead content in human blood has sharply risen and whether the level is dangerous.
-- From "Warning is Issued on Lead Poisoning / But Findings of Geochemist on Coast Are Disputed" (New York Times, September 12, 1965): @
* Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1995): @
* Interview with Patterson (California Institute of Technology, 1995): @
* "Protecing Public Health and the Environment: Implementing the Precautionary Principle" (edited by Carolyn Raffensperger and Joel Tickner, 1999): @
* "Lead in the Human Environment" (Committee on Lead in the Human Environment, National Research Council, 1980): @
* "Brush with Death: A Social History of Lead Poisoning" (Christian Warren, 2000): @
* "Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children" (Markowitz and Rosner, 2013): @
* "The Clean Room" ("Cosmos" episode, April 2014): @