Bill Thomas, owner of Dominica Remodeling, Otisville, N.Y., wrote the following letter to REMODELING in response to "Add It Up," editor-in-chief Craig Webb's editorial in the July issue in which Webb said the cost of EPA's lead-paint rule doesn't justify its benefits.
The first thing that I read was your “First Word” and it touched a nerve.
I don’t know if you have any children, but if you do and one of them had lead poisoning you would be the first to change your tune. There could not be enough done to save ONE child if that child was yours, Billy, Joey, Sally or Private Ryan.
From an economic-only standpoint, the cost to save one child might be very high. But how high is too high? While the legitimate contractors might have to spend a little more time and money on each job, there are other benefits to the new lead rules. It is creating jobs. There are more products being produced, sold, and used. Someone is making money because of these rules and if it saves one life that might be lost due to lead. Then it is worth it. The economic cost to contractors is more than off set by the creation of new jobs and products.
My wife has a rare strain of cancer that the doctors cannot do much about. One of the reasons is that there is not much research on this type on cancer as it is too rare to invest too much money and time on. As sad as it sounds, she would be better off with breast cancer or lung cancer as these are more common and there is a great deal of time and money spent researching these cancers.
Years ago, I would probably would have agreed with you, but I look at things differently now and I think others should also. The man without shoes complains until he sees the man with no feet. It is time to think about those who might be saved instead of how much it will cost.