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77. Eco heroes Clair Patterson and Herb Needleman – Getting the Lead Out

Lenni Armstrong talks with Rob about two of her eco heroes, Clair Patterson, a geochemist, and Herb Needleman, a pediatrician. These two men shared a passion about the dangers of lead and devoted their lives to measuring lead in the environment, finding out where it was coming from and how it was making people sick. Both men were willing to go to battle to get lead out of the environment to protect public health.

Clair Patterson measured the age of Earth and in the process, discovered that the environment was contaminated with lead. Herb Needleman showed the effects of lead on the health of children.

LenniLenni tells of the complex process resulting in a ban on the use of lead in gas and paint, which involved scientists, industry, government and the legal system. She then contrasts this story with the story of today’s pollutants, CO2 and the other greenhouse gases.

Lenni Armstrong is a visualization professional in the Boston area with over twenty years of experience in visualization design and teaching. Her educational interactives have informed thousands across the country, appearing in museums and on-line, as well as health care web sites and videos. Passionately committed to acting as a steward of Earth, she excels at conveying information about structures and events outside the range of human perception: from the nanoscale to the global scale, and from events occurring in a nanosecond to changes occurring over geological time.

Lenni gets to the heart of what needs to be conveyed and how to use visualization to convey it. She is currently documenting climate change and ecosystem restoration through interactive data visualization. www.informmotion.biz

With Somerville Climate Action, she organizes de-paving events that bring people together to improve their environment.