One of the Four Goals formulated by O’Neill in The High Frontier is to find an optimal life climate for all of humanity. The major implication of this for space habitats is to eliminate those substances, that are known to have a negative impact on public health.
We have discussed the negative correlation between lead exposure and general intelligence quite a lot on this site. Nevertheless, there is a seemingly endless flow of studies that demonstrate this relation over and over again.
ScienceDaily reports: study finds topsoil is key harbinger of lead exposure risks for children, the following:
Exposure to lead is often irreversible, particularly for children, and includes behavioral or learning problems, decreased IQ, hyperactivity, delayed growth, hearing problems, anemia, kidney disease and cancer. In rare cases, exposure can lead to seizures, coma, or death.
Also, the researchers from Tulane University found this highly disturbing fact:
Lead exposure is a critical environmental justice issue, according to researchers. The team found black children were three times more likely than white children to have higher blood lead levels, which could be explained by socioeconomic status and education, the type and age of housing and proximity to major roads and industry.
The first goal as stated by O’Neill is to put an end to hunger ad poverty. It is clear that lead exposure has a negative on both mental and physical health of children and that this cause a cycle of poverty due to lower education and reduced ability to find well paid jobs.
So it follows that the governments of future space habitats should ban the introduction of lead containing products within their jurisdictions. There is no excuse not to do so.