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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)


Air Date: Week of

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We dip into the mailbag to hear what listeners have to say.


CURWOOD: Time for comments from you, our listeners. Many listeners were intrigued by our recent special about cutting edge research on lead poisoning. But several were distressed by the description of one of the studies getting underway now on minute amounts of lead exposure.

"Let me see if I heard you correctly," writes WMEA Portland, Maine listener Stephen Grabowski, "all the homes are tested for lead paint. Then half the homes will be abated, and half will only be made more child-safe. Is this ethical?" This, of course, was among the very first questions we asked Dr. Bruce Lanphear of Cincinnati's Children's Hospital who heads up the new study.

He points out that numerous studies have shown that efforts to produce lead hazards can be ineffective or even backfire and increase a child's exposure to lead. This new study, he says, will test the safety of methods to reduce lead in houses. And although only half of the homes will receive lead abatement, all the children in this study will regularly have their blood tested. If any child shows up with high blood lead levels, the team will intervene. Finally, Dr. Lanphear's study was unanimously approved by an independent panel of scientists, ethicists and community people.

Send your comments to us at letters@loe.org, that's letters@loe.org.



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