With all eyes on Flint, Mich. as the city tries to tackle its ongoing lead contaminated water crisis, more attention is being focused on other cities that are coping with lead poisoning. Matt Pearce writes for the Los Angeles Times on the history of lead paint companies fighting regulations. Pearce writes that for many years lead companies have tried to minimize reports that linked lead exposure to lowering a child’s IQ and stunting growth development.

Lead companies in 1923 advertised that “lead concealed in the walls and under the floors of many modern buildings helps to give the best sanitation.” That was ultimately proven false and is just the beginning in a long history of how lead has gotten into American homes.

After scientists began in the 1970s to persuasively demonstrate the extent of lead’s danger to children, the federal government banned lead in residential paints in 1978 and lead pipes in 1986. Dozens of lawsuits against the industry began pouring in from around the country, and although it was largely unsuccessful, the litigation shone a light on the lead association’s efforts.
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