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In the words of HEW's Bureau of Community Environmental Manage

ment, what this adds up to is a "disease more prevalent than polio

before the advent of the Salk vaccine."

But the real tragedy is that childhood lead poisoning is a

totally manmade and totally preventable disease.

It is not some

rare malady waiting for a miracle cure.

It exists only because we

let it exist.

Three years ago I introduced legislation to begin a Federal

program to come to grips with this crippler and killer of young

children. Subsequently, Senator Kennedy introduced companion legis

lation in the Senate. Finally, after two years of intensive ef

fort, our Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act was signed

into law on January 13,


In enacting this law, President

Hixon committed this Nation to a massive assault to eradicate

the blight of childhood lead poisoning.

That commitment remains


:luch of the reason for this is as simple as it is intolerable:

the victims of lead poisoning are the poor and the black youngsters

of our inner cities, destined to live in slum housing, without

enough to eat, and without adequate medical care.

They are America's

forgotten children, her invisible children.

And the attitude of

this Administration toward these youngsters has been one of cruel

and callous disregard. This unconscionable neglect can only be m

measured in the unnecessary suffering of thousands of young chil


This government has been allowed to close its eyes to the

plight of these children for far too long.

It is imperative that

the Congress mandate a comprehensive and meaningful program which

will safeguard their health from this dread disease.

The Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act authorized $30

million for fiscal years 1971 and 1972 to combat childhood lead


That authorization expires on June 30, 1972.

76-737 072



Therefore, on the first day of this session of the Ninety-second


I introduced legislation (H.R. 12466) to extend and expand

the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act.

And I am pleased to note

that subsequently Senator Kennedy introduced the companion legislation

(s. 3080) which you are considering today.

It is my firm belief that the passage of this legislation is an

integral part of the program which we must launch to eradicate the blight

of lead-based paint poisoning from the face of this country.

sixty-five Members of Congress have joined in sponsoring this bill.

They are:

william F. Ryan (NY)
Bella S. Abzug (NY)
Herman Badillo (NY)
William A. Barrett (Pa)
Mario Biaggi (NY)
Jonathan Bingham (NY)
Edward Boland (Mass)
John Brademas (Ind)
Frank Brasco (NY)
James Burke (Mass)
Phillip Burton (Calif)
Hugh Carey (NY)
Shirley Chisholm (NY)
william Clay (Mo)
James Cleveland (NH)
George Collins

silvio Conte (Mass)
John Conyers (Mich)
James C. Corman (Calif)
George Danielson (Calif)
Ronald V. Dellums (Calif)
John Dent (Pa)
Charles Diggs (Mich)
John Dow (NY)
Robert Drinan (Mass)
Don Edwards (Calif)
Joshua Eilberg (Pa)
Walter E. Fauntroy (DC)
Donald Fraser (Minn)
Ella Grasso (Conn)
Seymour Halpern (NY)
Michael Harrington (Mass)
William Hathaway (Me)

Augustus Hawkins (Calif)
Ken Hechler (W. Va)
Henry Helstoski (NJ)
Louise Day Hicks (Mass)
Frank Horton (NY)
Andy Jacobs (Ind)
Edward I. Koch (NY)
Romano Mazzoli (ky)
Abner Mikva (111)
Parren Mitchell (Md)
F. Bradford Morse (Mass)
Claude Pepper (Fla)
Otis Pike (NY)
Bertram Podell (NY)
Helvin Price (111)
Charles B. Rangel (NY)
Thomas Rees (Calif)
Ogden Reid (NY)
Henry Reuss (Wis)
Peter W. Rodino Jr. (NJ)
Benjamin Rosenthal (NY)
Dan Rostenkowski (111)
Fernand St. Germain (R.I.)
Paul Sarbanes (Hd)
James Scheuer (NY)
John Seiberling (Ohio)
Louis Stokes (Ohio)
James Symington (Mo)
Robert Tiernan (R.I.)
Lester Wolff (NY)
Sidney Yates (111)

I believe that both the bipartisan nature and widely differing

geographic representation of this list of cosponsors indicates the growing

awareness throughout this Nation that

childhood lead

poisoning must be eliminated, and that the Federal government must lead

the way in that effort.


luch of the reason that lead poisoning continues to be a

national peril is that neither the Congress nor the Adminis

tration has been willing to provide sufficient funding to meet the

menace of lead-based paint poisoning. Despite the fact that the

Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act authorized $30 million

for fiscal years 1971 and 1972, the Nixon Administration stead

fastly refused to request any money to fund this act for fiscal year

1971 and only after great pressure from myself and other concerned

citizens belatedly submitted an amended budget request for $2

million for fiscal year 1972. Although the Congress recognized the

total insufficiency of this request, it provided only $7.5 million

in appropriations for fiscal year 1972

still woefully inadequate

to meet

the need.

I understand that over 30 communities

have filed applications of notice of intent to file applications for grants under Title I and II of the Act totally in excess of $30


Now is the time for the Congress to insure that a higher and

more adequate level of funding be provided in the future.


fore, our legislation provides that for fiscal year 1973 and for

each succeeding fiscal year, there is authorized to be appropriated

$20 million for grants to units of general local government to

assist in developing and carrying out local detection and treatment programs for victims of childhood lead poisoning; $25 million

for grants to develop and carry out programs to identify high-risk

areas, and then to develop and carry out lead-based paint elimin

ation programs; and $5 million for the Department of Housing and

Urban Development to carry out a demonstration and research pro

gram to determine the nature and extent of the problem and the

methods by which lead-based paint can most effectively be removed.

Any amounts authorized for l fiscal year but not appropriated

may be appropriated for the succeeding fiscal year.

That every penny of these funds is urgently needed is clear.

But what is more striking is that if we fail to spend the necessary

funds to combat this menace, we will have to expend far more patching

up the sins committed against our children by allowing them to


fall victim to this horrid disease.

Each year, for example, 800 young children are so severely af

flicted by this crippler that they require institutionalization and

care for the remainder of their lives.

It has been estimated that

such care costs $250,000 per child for a lifetime of institutional

ization. Annually, that is a cost of $200 million.

What better

proof that, even in cold economic terms, an ounce of prevention

is worth a pound of cure.

But let me make one thing clear.

It is not enough for the

Congress to authorize the amounts in the legislation before you


It must insure that they are appropriated as well.


Congress has & long and dubious history of making promises but not

delivering on them. Despite a $30 million authorization for the

Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act passed over a year ago,

not a single penny has reached the local community to combat this


Worn-out slogans and yesterdays promises will not keep our

children healthy.

They will only result in greater despair and

spreading illness. Anything less than the full appropriation of

authorized funds can only result in condeming thousands of urban

children to lives of suffering and disease.



Secondly, our legislation would change the definition of lead

based paint from paint containing more than 1 percent lead by weight

calculated as lead metal

in the total nonvolatile content of

liquid paints or in the dried surface coating to 0.06 percent lead by


The matter of a "safe" level of lead in paint has been of deep

concern to me for quite some time.

On August 9, 1971, five child

health advocates joined me in filing a formal petition with the Food

and Drug Administration requesting that agency to ban paint with

more than minute traces

0.06 percent

of lead from household

uses under the authority of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

Joining me in submitting this petition were Prof. Joseph A.

Page, associate professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Anthony

L. Young; Mary Win O'Brien; Journalist Jack Newfield; and Dr.

Edmund O. Rothschild, Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases,

New York City.

On November 2, 1971, the FDA published our petition in the

Federal Register in order to allow interested parties to make their

comments known.

At the same time, however, the FDA published another


one which it had itself initiated

which would

merely require that paints with a lead content in excess of 0.5 percent

bear a warning label.

The overwhelming preponderance of medical and scientific evidence

and opinion submitted to the FDA in regard to these proposals sup

port my petition to ban paint with a lead content in excess of 0.06

percent from household uses.

Included among the wide range of in

dividuals and organizations who have endorsed my proposal are the

Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Health, Education

and Welfare's Bureau of Community Environmental Management; Jane

Lin-Fu, Pediatiric Consultant, Maternal and Child Health Services, HEW;

the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Associa

tion, the State of New York, the New York City Department of Consumer

Affairs; and a great number of State and local Health departments

across this country.

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