Could lead poisoning have been the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire? Romans used to use lead to sweeten their wines and foods according to Canadian research scientist Jerome Nriagu, who in 1983 made this correlation. Nriagu concluded that because of the gluttonous eating habits of Roman aristocrats, the lead in their food would have had an impact on Roman aristocracy diets and brain development.

However, researchers across the country in years since Nriagu’s reserach have debunked this theory, citing shoddy reserach work. While lead was used in daily eating habits of Romans, other researchers have said that such concentrations of lead were “unlikely to have been truly harmful."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there is no save level of exposure for children to lead. These high levels of lead exposure can lead to seizures, kidney damage, problems in brain development, and even death.

So what do you think? Does lead poisoning have such a harmful impact on the health that high exposure could lead to problems down the line for cities facing lead poisoning exposure?

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