LA County Settles Lead Paint Litigation, Shares in $305 Million from Paint Companies
The Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health announced the settlement of a lawsuit that will provide significant funding for remediating lead paint hazards in residential housing throughout the County. County Counsels and City Attorneys of 10 CA jurisdictions reached a settlement that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up the lead paint that poisons tens of thousands of children each year. Under the settlement, Sherwin-Williams paint, ConAgra, and NL Industries, Inc., will pay $305 million to Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano, and Ventura counties; San Francisco; and the cities of Oakland and San Diego to address lead paint-related hazards in residential property. Lead paint is the most significant environmental hazard for children in LA County and in California. Almost 3,000 children are diagnosed with lead poisoning in LA County each year.
“Children are still being poisoned by the lead in paint that these companies sold decades ago,” Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This settlement is an overdue victory and will finally allow us to remove lead from homes and protect generations of children to come.”
Lead is toxic, and exposure of children to lead can cause severe and permanent damage to the developing brain, including learning disabilities, deficits in attention and concentration, memory, comprehension, and impulse control. This settlement will allow Public Health to create an intervention program that is targeted to provide services to those young children and their families who are most at risk for lead poisoning. The program will prioritize LA County residences built before 1951 that house low income families with children under 6 years of age or pregnant women. The services will include testing for and remediation of lead hazards in indoor and outdoor surfaces in homes, and is expected to launch in the fall. For more information, call (800) LA4-LEAD.