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Parents Lead Action Group
451 Clarkson Ave.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee:
I am here with Mrs. Bessie Goodwin to represent the Parents
We don't have time to wait or to discuss any longer. Something must be done now. The present generation of children should be our future leaders, but they are being brain damaged and physically crippled by lead poisoning.
In the past three years we have visited schools and community groups, we have demonstrated for more effective programs, and met with public health and government officials. We have educated parents in the clinics at Kings County Hospital about the danger of lead poisoning. We have recently completed a proposal to make an educational-documentary movie designed to alert our community and more affluent communities to the threat of this disease.
After all of our effort we remain dismayed by the inadequacy of the lead poisoning repair program in our city. There are delays., and
. delays, and more delays. When the work is supposedly complete, the danger is often only partially eliminated with lead paint left surrounding the children with its poison.
Faced with this discouraging situation we feel that the following things are needed:
1. More educational publicity, through radio, television,
newspapers, billboards, , etc., not just in low-
2, A community-based program that would consist of local
offices, staffed by knowledgeable community persons,
3. Lead-free convalescent facilities for children who have
been poisoned and who are waiting for their homes to
4. Research to find a more effective test for lead
poisoning, since the present blood tests are so
5. An extensive, nationwide program to rehabilitate all
bad housing and to check all housing, old and new, for
We know that this disease is totally preventable and we
Mrs. Ethel Jamison
(Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m. the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 9:30 a.m., Friday, March 10, 1972.).
LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING AMENDMENTS OF 1972
FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 1972
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m. in room 4232, New Senate Office Building, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Kennedy and Schweiker.
Committee staff members present: LeRoy G. Goldman, professional staff member, and Jay B. Cutler, minority counsel.
Senator KENNEDY. The subcommittee will come to order.
I am going to put in the record my statement and welcome our witnesses this morning, and apologize to them in advance for not being able to be with them for the complete time. Unfortunately, the Judiciary Committee, and the hearings on Mr. Kleindienst have gone over a good deal longer than expected, and I am going to have to be absent myself just a few minutes before 10 o'clock. Senator Schweiker will be here and other members of the committee.
(The prepared statement of Senator Kennedy follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, A U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
The committee has received very useful information from witnesses who appeared during the first 2 days of hearings on the proposed amendment to the Lead Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act.
I am pleased this morning to welcome to this final day of hearings, witnesses from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and from the Evironmental Protection Agency.
HEW, under the provisions of S. 3080, is authorized $45 million annually to carry out lead-based paint poisoning prevention programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is authorized an additional $5 million annually. Under this act HEW is also authorized to cooperate with HUD research programs to develop the most effective procedures for testing and screening potential lead poisoning victims, and to determine the most effective procedures for eliminating the hazard of exposed residential surfaces covered with lead based paint.
Based on the need described by the very impressive testimony the committee has received so far, I am considering an increase in the total authorization for such programs to $100 million.
Officials from New York City, Philadelphia, East Orange, N.J., and Baltimore, Md., have emphasized the critical demand for adequate Federal assistance to meet the lead-based paint poisoning crisis. Both the medical and housing aspects of the problem demand the concerted attention of our Federal agencies.
As chairman of the Health Subcommittee, I am concerned that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare not only develop well designed procedures for carrying out the provisions of the law, but I am also concerned about the Department moving ahead to fund programs with money that has already been appropriated for that purpose. With an authorization of $30 million for fiscal year 1972, the Senate last year approved $15 million that I recommended for HEW to conduct lead-based paint poisoning programs. Yet, from the $7.5 million that the Congress ultimately appropriated in July 1971, there is no evidence that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, has-8 months later-awarded grants for community based lead poisoning programs.
And so it is, that for the mother who told the committee this week about her child dying from lead poisoning and for the mother whose child suffers mental retardation from lead poisoning—these parents had to be given the disappointing news that even with existing meager Federal appropriations for lead poisoning, there is still no Federal action on this problem. We had to tell those parents there is still no visible thrust by the Government's principal health authority to protect other children from the hazards of lead-based paint poisoning.
Today, I am hopeful that there will be an expression of the Department's concern for ways to begin implementing the funding provisions of the Lead Poisoning Act. Not only must we get started
with federally operated programs to search out victims of lead poisoning, but we must also begin to resolve the problems raised yesterday in testimony presented by members of the paint industry.
Because present law authorizes labels on interior paints to show that the contents contain no more than 1 percent lead, such paints are advertised as lead free. But this can be misleading to consumers. Industry witnesses confirmed that these paints indeed include lead or lead compounds, though most people problably assume that such products are completely free of lead. Moreover, the industry's response was less than satisfactory in attempting to explain why certain interior paints bear labels that the contents are “free of lead pigment.” Though it was emphasized that lead pigments are not added to such paints, these paints are likely to include lead from other sources. Because such labeling, as well as certain newspaper advertisements, may be misleading to consumers, the committee will request the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to look into this matter.
In addition, the committee will request the Department of Housing and Urban Development to analyze the lead content of certain paints obtained from a Washington, D.C., distributor that are labeled “free of lead pigments.”