'Unleading' the Way for Safer Environments for Children

Lawyers and a defunct real estate company agree to what is the largest settlement for a childhood lead poisoning case in the state of Massachusetts--raising awareness of the dangers of lead-based paint to landlords statewide.
September 17, 2003, 1pm PDT | Connie Chung
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In Springfield, MA, "lawyers...agreed to a settlement with the heirs of a defunct local real estate company for $4 million" in what is "the state's largest settlement for a childhood lead poisoning case." As lead-based paint cases are declining in the state of Massachusetts, lawsuits related to lead poisoning are not as common as they were a decade ago. "In a landmark settlement reached in 1991, a Boston Housing Court judge ruled that those who manage property are as liable as the owners of lead-contaminated property. The case involved a plaintiff who had been poisoned in 1976 while living in an apartment subsidized by the Boston Housing Authority....Lead may be found in anything from ceramic dishes to brass containers, but the main source of exposure for children is lead paint, especially in homes built before 1978. Dust from lead paint can easily be ingested....In homes with children under age 6, Massachusetts lead laws require the removal, or covering, of any 'lead hazard' in homes built before 1978, when lead paint production was banned nationally."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 in The Boston Globe
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