Online Program

Judging History: Lead Wars, The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

David Rosner, PhD, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Gerald Markowitz, PhD, Department of History, John Jay College, City University of New York, New York, NY
Two recent law suits against the lead industry highlight the importance of history in advocating for public health and environmental justice. In 2005, the State of Rhode Island sued the makers of lead pigments for the costs of removing lead from the walls of the State and this year ten cities and counties in California sued the lead industry for money to abate the lead paint hazard in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and other counties and cities around the state. The goal of these suits was to provide resources to State and county departments of health to prevent future damage in what has been the longest-running pediatric epidemic in American history. Central to these suits were historical internal company documents uncovered during twenty years of litigation and discovery. This paper will review both the documents and the ways in which they played a role in determining responsibility for the environmental pollution and the damage done to children over the course of the past century. The two presenters were historical expert witnesses on behalf of the State and Counties in both Rhode Island and California in the lawsuits that against National Lead, Sherwin Williams, Dupont, ARCO, and Fuller and have written extensively on the history of lead poisoning.

Learning Areas:

Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define 2 political influences on pediatric lead-exposure research Discuss 2 developmental risks resulting from politically affected research

Keyword(s): Lead, Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: tba
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.