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No, Rome's Collapse Wasn't Caused By Lead Poisoning

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Blogs - Science and technology - Gizmodo - April 24, 2014

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(...) A new study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences confirms that Romans had high levels of lead contaminating their tap water, thanks to the lead pipes that they used to pass the water from aqueducts into the city. (...)
It's been theorized for decades that ancient Romans suffered from lead poisoning, which has been blamed for the downfall of the Roman Empire by causing widespread health problems like gout, anemia, and low birth rates, and even psychological issues ranging from mental instability to militant behavior. But according to the new study, although the levels were high, they were likely not high enough to cause the downfall of the whole civilization: "It's marginal. You would start being worried about drinking that water all your life," said Francis Albarède" (...).
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