Lead Wars!

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Most of us think of lead paint as an unintentionally hazardous product of the paint industry’s practices. But in fact, lead in paint was a product of the lead industry’s century-long campaign to maintain sales of their product, a metal that they knew posed serious health threats to children and families. On this episode we speak to Gerald Markowitz, whose book (co-written with David Rosner) Lead Wars exposes the history of the lead industry’s efforts to insure sales of lead, while creating a national public health menace that continues to poison children to this day. Also, CEH’s Caroline Cox describes our work to eliminate lead poisoning threats to children, and gives tips on avoiding lead exposures in your home.

GMarkowitzGerald Markowitz is a Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Together with David Rosner he has authored and edited numerous books and articles on occupational safety and health, including Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution, and most recently, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children.

Caroline Cox is Research Director at CEH. She leads our research on toxic exposures: identifying, analyzing and substantiating the scientific bases for our work to eliminate threats to children and others exposed to dangerous chemicals. Previously, she worked for sixteen years as staff scientist at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Oregon. Caroline also served as a public interest representative to the U.S. EPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee.

CEH offers lead testing of older toys, jewelry and other household items, see details on our Test for Lead page.

Music in this episode includes Randy Newman, Baltimore, and LeadBelly with Midnight Special.

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