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Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.

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Presentation on theme: "Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner

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3 Gibson (1904) Blackfan (1917) on Lead Poisoning from Paint

4 1926

5 Cater to the Children

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7 Dutch Boy Handbook on Painting, 1950

8 Amount of lead

9 Of late…

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13 Ellen Silbergeld, Clair Patterson, Herbert Needleman ca. 1977

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16 The Problem Facing Researchers: million privately occupied housing units that contain some lead paint with 10 million children under 7 years old Full Lead Abatement – 2 story, 3 bedroom house, $15,000 Fear of Landlord Abandonment if Full Abatement Abatement Methods Dangerous

17 \ Emergence of a Grand Compromise: – “It was not long before the vision of the early 1990s, true primary prevention, eradication of the disease in 15 years, was replaced by an enfeebled pseudopragmatism.” Herbert Needleman

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20 1991 KKI Repair and Maintenance Study: Funded by the EPA -- $200,000 Grant Goal: Evaluate “cheaper alternatives to full lead abatement” Method: 108 homes partially abated 108 families with children between ages 6 months to 6 years. Level 1 Abatement, $1650; Level 2 Abatement, $3500 ; Level 3 Abatement, $7000 – Hopkins encourages landlords to rent to families with young children. – Measured lead dust levels in homes – Compared different levels of abatement to changes in children’s blood-lead levels. The Study

21 May 10, 1994 Consent Form

22 Consent Forms Statement of Purpose 1992 and : 1994:

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25 KKI Responds to Lawsuit Oral Argument: 1. KKI was merely “an observer” that “collect[ed] information about an existing and evolving condition which KKI neither created nor controlled.” 2. That Kennedy Krieger was doing this study to determine whether they can find a cost- effective way to reduce a child’s exposure to lead

26 Plaintiffs Argument KKI was hardly a “passive” participant collecting data. – It had designed the experiment, – it had required that leaded homes be part of the study, – It had “encouraged the landlord to lease the property to a family with a young child.” – it had contracted for limited repairs knowing that the danger of ingestion of lead dust by children in residence was still a probability,

27 National Center for Lead Safe Housing, Amicus Brief – “Virtually all children who live in houses located in Baltimore City and built prior to 1958 are exposed to lead,” and many cities throughout the country were plagued by similar conditions. – complete removal of lead was just not economically practical in such cities, given competing political agendas and the dilapidated condition of the nation’s housing stock for poor people.

28 Ultimate Statement of the Problem “society [is] already doing a [vast] Tuskegee experiment. Very little if anything [is] happening to remove lead while children [are] being poisoned.”

29 The Disjuncture Between Public Perception and Public Health Court: Researcher:

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