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The Lead Industry, Its Trail of Poison and Its Ties to Gale Norton

StoryJanuary 16, 2001
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NL Industries, the firm for which Norton lobbied, is being sued by numerous states, cities and individuals to recovermulti-million dollars damages for adverse effects on children’s health and property values.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 20 children in the United States sufferssubclinical lead poisoning. Most of victims are children of color, many living in substandard housing owned bylandlords who have evaded or ignored laws, often written with the help of the lead industry.

In their article “Cater to the Children” in the “American Journal of Public Health” Gerald Markowitz and David Rosnerdetail the history of the lead industry and conclude that “…the lead industry actually misled the public healthcommunity, assuring it that lead paint was not being used on toy, interior surfaces, or cribs. The industry alsoconsciously used children in its advertising and promotion campaigns in ways that aggravated the public healthcrisis.”

It was that same industry that Norton represented as a lobbyist.

Guests:

  • Jerry Markowitz, professor at John Jay College and Graduate Center of City University of New York andauthor and editor of numerous papers on occupational illness.
  • Dr. John Rosen, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Lead Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
  • Matthew Chachere, attorney, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.
  • Cordell Cleare, Co-chair, New York Coalition to End Lead Poisoning.

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