NASCAR race-cars spew lead

What’s the connection between NASCAR racing, diminished mental capacity, and increased criminal behavior? If your answer was “lead,” well, we commend your high-mindedness. Indeed, that is the answer: Though leaded gasoline was phased out in the U.S. decades ago, the racing industry (along with aviation) was exempted. Despite years of pleas from the U.S. EPA, NASCAR has not developed an alternative to leaded gas, which it says keeps engine valves lubricated. “We just have not been able to find a solution,” said NASCAR spokesguy Ramsey Poston. Lead from auto exhaust can stay in the air for up to 10 days and travel many miles. Those in the most danger are children, for whom lead presents the threat of permanently diminished mental capacity. Low-level lead exposure has also been linked to criminal behavior. NASCAR is the fastest-growing “sport” in America, with some 3.5 million spectators a year attending races. (Look, we made it all the way through the blurb without saying “Bush” or “red state”! Oh, oops.)