Generations after scientists found that lead was dangerous to humans, American infrastructure is still rife with lead: homes, water pipes, automobile fuel and more. This means an astounding number of America’s most vulnerable children have high levels of lead in their blood. To understand why lead has been so difficult to remove from one of the world’s wealthiest nations, we have to understand just how obsessed America was with lead – and how the industry spread propaganda about the benefits of lead, even after research showed it was dangerous. 

Additional reporting, production and graphics by Jocelyn Tabancay Duffy.

This video was made possible by a grant from the Open Society Foundations. Nexus Media News is an editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering climate change. Follow us @NexusMediaNews.