Originally published July 20 2015
From Rome to America: How toxic heavy metals destroy health and civilizations
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) If there's anything to be learned from history concerning public health, it's that supposedly advanced civilizations don't always get things right, despite their seemingly progressive knowledge and understanding. For ancient Rome, it was a combination of decadence and heavy metal toxicity, believe it or not, that ultimately led to the empire's downfall, a fact that bodes ominously for the similarly toxic modern West.
Rome's downfall, according to some historians, was largely predicated on its use of lead piping for water delivery, as well as lead utensils for making wine and vinegar. Both royalty and commoners alike were exposed to lead through their water and food, in fact -- so much so that historical records suggest that lead may have literally destroyed the minds of those leading the empire.
A 1983 article published by geochemist Jerome Nriagu in The New England Journal of Medicine deals extensively with Rome's lead issue, noting that lead played a prominent role in the daily life of ancient Romans. The Encyclopaedia Romana, by James Grout of the University of Chicago, parses it down further, explaining that Roman aqueducts were literally coated with sheets of lead, though some were also made of clay.
But Roman winemaking was perhaps the biggest exposing factor, as lead was used to produce wine reductions and other preserving fluids.
"Nriagu assumes the aristocracy of Rome to have consumed two liters of wine a day... and estimates the lead intake to have averaged 180 micrograms (µg) daily," explains the encyclopedia entry for "Lead Poisoning and Rome." "[H]e further estimates the total amount of lead absorbed in the blood from all sources to be 50 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or 0.5 mg/L. Three deciliters of such wine, the equivalent of two glasses, would therefore contain 150 µg of lead."
Is America following in the footsteps of ancient Rome? The health consequences of this high level of lead exposure include the following, as delineated by the U.S. government:
Today, although lead still poses a significant hazard to American children, it is widely recognized as a poison to be avoided, in other words. But the West, and particularly the United States, has its own set of poisons that are still widely accepted, including synthetic fluoride added to water supplies -- more on the health dangers of fluoride is available here.
- Brain and kidney damage in adults with blood lead levels of 100 µg/dL
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as colic, with levels of approximately 60 µg/dL
- Anemia with levels of 50 to 80 µg/dL
- Neurological symptoms with levels of 40 to 60 µg/dL
- Depressed sperm count with levels of 40 to 50 µg/dL
- Increased risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and impaired mental development with maternal blood lead levels of 10 to 15 µg/dL
- In children five years or younger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends intervention when the level of lead in the blood is above even 5 µg/dL
And what about all those food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame? Or vaccines loaded with aborted human fetal tissue and chemical preservatives? These and many other modern-day toxins promote the same kinds of health damage as lead, and yet society accepts them as beneficial for "public health," just like the Romans did their lead winemaking cauldrons and water piping.
If you live in America today, you're daily exposed to poisons such as aluminum, cadmium and strontium, hence why Natural News launched the Forensic Food Lab -- to bring these sources of toxic exposure to light! America is a whole lot more like ancient Rome than many people think, and we're headed on the exact same path towards destruction.
Decadence and convenience may suit our immediate tastes and cravings, but their end is death -- or to quote the Encyclopaedia Romana citing Pliny the Elder on Rome:
"So many poisons are employed to force wine to suit our taste—and we are surprised that it is not wholesome!"
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