“Kids Were Getting Really Stupid”- Joe Rogan Gives the Real Reason for Shrinking of American “IQ”

Published 06/02/2023, 5:40 AM EDT

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Love it or hate it – The Joe Rogan Experience has achieved a cult-like status among fans. Even Rogan couldn’t believe the power of the JRE! Known for its distinctive mix of enlightening conversations and comedic shenanigans – the podcast covers it all! Yet another intriguing episode just came out last Friday. This time, JRE starred three well-known stand-up comics – Shane Gillis, Mark Normand, and Ari Shaffir.

Stemming from the discussion, one alarming revelation emerged: lead poisoning and its profound effect on the intelligence of Americans, with a significant decline in IQ among half of the population during the 20th century. Rogan pointed out some disturbing facts about how Americans were allegedly losing their IQ. In the early 1920s, lead was first added to gasoline to help keep car engines ‘healthy’. But it turns out – what was ‘healthy’ for cars, was a complete disaster for society. Even water supply lines were infamous for having lead-based paint.

Joe Rogan’s shocking revelation: Startling insights on the American IQ


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Talking of the horrors of lead paint in JRE #1991, Rogan passionately expressed his disbelief, referring to it as “f**ked up.”

“They used to use lead paint, until they realized kids were getting really stupid…”


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“That was a thing, man. Lead paint – f**ked up man!” exclaimed Joe Rogan. He took the argument further, pointing at the adverse effects of leaded gasoline on the city dwellers, saying, “Did you know that leaded gasoline, before they made unleaded gasoline, lowered everyone’s IQ in cities?” 

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This astounding statement took aback all three guests, including comic Shane Willis. Adding to their disbelief, Rogan continued, “Lead poisoning, like literal lead poisoning, from the sky. Because those cars… they would put off blue f*cking powder fumes out of the back of it. It was all awful…”


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Curious to uncover the extent of the damage dealt, Joe sought evidence of lead’s impact on IQ. While looking for this ‘evidence’, he came across a shocking article, headlined: “Lead exposure in the last century shrank IQ scores of half of Americans.”

This statement was based on a study showing that over 800 million cumulative IQ points were lost by Americans since the 1940s – all due to leaded gasoline.


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Lead-related health problems, including sped-up brain aging, plagued those exposed to leaded gas. This fact left Joe Rogan bewildered, as he exclaimed, “Wow, that’s late!” Amusingly, the 55-year-old used his sense of humor to ease his guests – steering them onto yet another topic – yet another story, waiting to unfold.

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Written by:

Ashish Tiwari


One take at a time

Ashish is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. With an unwavering love for the sport, he immerses himself in the thrilling world of MMA, capturing the essence of each high-octane fight and delving into the intricacies of a fighter's strategy. His in-depth knowledge and analytical approach enable him to provide unique insights into the sport.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu