“We hope that the NAACP’s publicly expressed interest in this issue will allow us to place less emphasis on litigation and lead to greater cooperation among the many groups, including our industry, who have been working to help avert children’s exposure to lead in their environment,” said Andy Doyle, president of the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA).
At the center of NAACP’s case is Imani Studivant, a seven-year-old West Baltimore, MD resident. As a result of lead poisoning suffered while a toddler, she has a slight speech impediment and could suffer other effects as she gets older. The Studivants filed a civil suit against the property owners that was settled for $145,000.
“We’ve stood by generation after generation while children continue to be poisoned,” said Mr. Mfume. “It’s a disease that disproportionately affects children living in cities.”
The spotlight is again on lead paint after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said it will pursue a law suit against paint manufacturers unless the coatings industry becomes more involved in lead paint abatement and treatment for victims. At the association’s annual convention in New Orleans, LA, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume said he wants coatings firms to get involved with the clean-up of paint residue in residential areas.
“Children have a civil right to expect that they can grow up in an environmentally safe society,” said Mr. Mfume. “The industry ought to understand there are consequences in all of this that cannot be delayed.”
Mr. Mfume said cities and other child advocacy groups could join the suit, which has yet to be filed. Mr Mfume did not say when the suit would be filed or whether it would be in federal or state