The recent Chinese toy recalls have brought the lead poison issue in sharp focus to the public’s attention. However, the biggest lead problem comes from lead paint. A Maryland jury returned a $4 million verdict against the Housing Authority of Baltimore City in a recent lead paint case. Two siblings poisoned by lead paint in their publicly owned rowhouse in the 1980s were the plaintiffs in the case. As we have reported in prior issues, lead poisoning, which often occurs when children put chipped household paint in their mouths, can cause mental problems, including cognitive deficits and aggressive behavior. The siblings in the Maryland case showed symptoms of lead poisoning. Both were in special education, and neither earned a high school diploma. The family in this case had moved into a rowhouse in 1984. The housing authority had built the home in 1940 with specifications that indicated that lead paint was to be used. In 1986 and 1987, the two children were tested for lead and found to have levels that were acceptable at the time but later considered poisonous by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. Lead paint in older buildings – especially public housing – presents a very big and most serious safety and health issue for children in this country.
Source: Baltimore Sun
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