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living near freeways have markedly higher blood lead levels

8 than those living in the same area, one mile from the freeway.

In light of the well documented case that automobiles are

the principle source of atmospheric lead, that inhaled lead

produces elevated blood-lead levels, that in the ghetto the

concentrations of atmospheric lead are highest, and that

pregnant mothers and black children are acutely sensitive

to lead poisoning, it would be genocide to build another foot

of frecway through Washington.

We propose that a study must be done of the ambient levels

of lead in Washington's downtown and these figures compared to

the California standards.

If the levels of lead are high they

must be reduced.

Since there is no indication when gasoline

companies will get the lead out of gas, our only way to lower

lead presently is to reduce auto use in D.C.

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Roffman, H., and Finberg, L., Lead Poisoning in Children:

A disease of environment, Health News 46:2 (1969).

3Dr. Joseph Cimino, Medical Director of New York City's

Poison Control Center.

4Gerard, A., et al., Archives des Maladies Professionelles

25:346 (1964).


5cantarow, A., and Trumph, M., Lead Poisoning, Baltimore,

Williams and Wilkins Co., 1944.

Grundy, R. C., Journal of the Air Pollution Control

Association 19:730 (1969).

Blanksma, L. A., et al., Incidence of high blood lead levels


in Chicago children, Pediatrics 44:661 (1961).

Goldsmith, J. R., Epidemiological basis for possible air

quality criteria for lead, Journal Air Pollution Control

Association 19:714 (1969).

Senator PELL. Our next witness is Dr. Vincent F. Guinee, director of the Bureau of Lead-Poisoning Control, Health Services Administration, New York City.

Dr. Guinee received his B.S. from Fordham, his M.D. from Cornell Medical School, and his masters in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He has been with the health services administration since July 1966, and in 1970 organized the lead-poisoning control bureau. He has headed it ever since. In addition, he is consultant to the National Science Foundation in the area of lead poisoning.

Dr. Guinee, please proceed.



as ours.

Dr. GUINEE. I have a longer statement which I would like to have included in the record in full.

Senator PELL. Thank you for your willingness to summarize your statement. Dr. GUINEE. New York City has completed 2 years of experience in

2 the operation of an intensive lead-poisoning control program.

During 1970–71 over 200,000 lead-poisoning tests were performed and 4,574 children identified with blood lead levels of 60 micrograms per 100 milliliters or higher—the definition of a case of lead poisoning in New York City.

Inspections of the home environments where children with lead poisoning reside resulted in the department of health ordering repairs in 3,500 dwelling units. These repairs were performed by the landlords or assigned to city's housing and development administration.

Despite this effort, we estimate that 5,000 children with lead poisoning remain in the population, not yet located by a program as large

If you would refer to the table in my prepared statement, you will see the initiation of a large-scale community testing program. Roughly 10,000 blood tests were performed in all of 1969, and over 80,000 tests were performed in 1970.

There was a testing program of approximately 10,000 blood samples a month in 1971. Although more cases become apparent in the summer months, a significant number of cases can be uncovered by screening throughout the year.

Variations from month to month may be influenced by the pattern of screening, the age group, the neighborhood, the season. The distribution of blood lead levels of lower socioeconomic children in New York City is presented in table 2. Comparing all blood specimens obtained in 1971 with first blood specimens from individuals of the same time period, the distribution of blood levels was similar.

Data based on first blood specimens most closely reflects that which will be found in the lower socioeconomic urban neighborhood and on any given day. The total of first blood samples at 60 micrograms or greater does not equal the total cases for 1971. The remaining cases were identified on a second or later test. Cases which occurred in 1971

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are presented by age and race in table 3. More cases of lead poisoning occurred in black children than all other categories combined.

We have seen that the incidence of lead poisoning cases

Senator PELL. Excuse me. Why would that be? I think one answer might be that there are more black children in New York City than nonblack children.

Dr. GUINEE. We went into our data a little more to see whether this could be an artifact of more people being tested in one group than another, and we found that given an equal number of black children tested and Puerto Rican children tested, that black children again had a rate of at least three times as high.

Senator PELL. Why would that be?

Dr. GUINEE. We can't be sure, but we assume that the housing is equally bad for both groups. If this can be shown, then the next thing we would have to say is that it is possible that the habit of pica, of eating nonfood substances might occur more often in black families than in Puerto Rican families, just because of a cultural trait.

Senator PELL. Would there be any relationship to sickle cell anemia ?

Dr. GUINEE. I do not think there would be any relationship. On the other hand, if 1 in 10 have lead poisoning and 1 in 10 black children have sickle cell trait, you would have an association that would often occur; but there would not be any causal relationship.

Senator PELL. What is relationship between the black children, Puerto Rican children and white children?

Dr. GUINEE. In the table in my prepared statement, you see the incidence of Puerto Rican children and those in the category of other. The numbers tested were about the same rates, but the black children are

Senator PELL. What are the others, white?

Dr. GUINEE. We have other and unknown. Unknown would be where nothing is checked because they are not sure, or they just did not check. Other would be white, Chinese, Indian, whatever category other than either black or Puerto Rican.

Senator PELL. Are there really 10 times as many black children in New York City as whites? I noticed you checked those numbers there.

Dr. GUINEE. This is the table of the cases. In other words, we tested, for instance, last year, 116,000. We did 116,000 tests on 100,000 children.

Senator PELL. What is the proportion of black children, Puerto Rican children, and white children in New York City!

Dr. GUINEE. The black and Puerto Rican population under age 6 would be about 55 percent of the population of New York City.

Senator Pell. Fifty-five percent of the child population?

Dr. GUINEE. If you take the population of 6 and under, that population would be about 55 percent black and Puerto Rican. But in checking our rates out for the incidence in the black children and the Puerto Rican children they were based on levels of, let us say, 40,000 each; we came up with findings that did hold.

Now I think pertinent to this also is table 4. We do know that a 2year-old child is more likely to have lead poisoning than a 4-yearold child, let's say, and we took data from our files for 1971 on 2-yearold black children and 2-year-old Puerto Rican children, and we can see that in table 4 during July of this age group, 9 percent of black children tested had a level of 16 micrograms or higher.

At the same time period, the Puerto Rican children had about 3 percent.

Senator Pell. There must be a reason for this. What is the reason?
Dr. GUINEE. We don't know.
Senator PELL. Has anybody tried to find out!

Dr. GUINEE. Yes, but this fact was first brought out by our 1971 data, and it was first released to the press about December of 1971. Prior to this time, people felt that possibly, as you mentioned, the reason why we had more black children is that they were more likely to be tested and the rates had not been established up to that point.

Senator PELL. All right. Carry on.

Dr. GUINEE. One other element which we should talk about is the level of 0.06 percent. The bill under discussion that this be used as the definition of lead based paint in lieu of 1 percent, and this definition would apply to all sections of the bill.

If the paint industry has the technology to produce paints with this content of lead, we would endorse this trace amount as being a significant safeguard for young children.

However, some method of enforcement must be provided, whatever level is chosen. In an effort to protect future generations of children from lead base paints, New York City undertook a survey to determine the lead content of paint sold for use on interior surfaces.

The New York City health code has required lead content warning for interior paint since 1959. Despite the existence of this for over a decade, the bureau of lead poisoning found that paints manufactured by 25 of the 76 companies included in the survey did not comply.

In some instances labels even stated that the paints were safe for cribs and playpens, despite a lead content as high as 912 percent.

These findings were first brought to public attention by our bureau in a New York Times story on July 24, 1971.

Where this definition applied to a paint which has already been applied to interior surfaces of dwellings it probably will be found so strict that it could actually eliminate enforcement of lead base paint detection.

Analysis of 418 samples of paint removed from apartments are presented in table 5. The results were reported only as low as a tenth of a percent, 97 percent of broken surfaces in apartments would require repair.

Detection and laboratory analysis would not be necessary to determine the few walls that meet the standard and a program which enforced this standard from a practical point of view would repair all broken surfaces which were found.

It is probably safe to say that most surfaces in these apartments which had not yet broken down would also have the same lead content.

Another point should be considered concerning the lead content of paint on the wall. Several lead detecting machines are in various stages of field trials. These machines record results in milligrams of lead per square centimeter, not in a percentage format. Thus the committee might consider allowing each local governmental jurisdiction to determine its own acceptable level of lead, and its own method of measure, which would apply to dwelling surfaces already painted.


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