Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have accused the Bush administration of stacking a government advisory panel on childhood lead poisoning with members sympathetic to lead-related industries. The 12-member panel advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on averting such poisoning, and in the past, the CDC has appointed the panel’s members. Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who has been heavily involved in reshaping scientific advisory boards since the Bush administration took office, will replace three of the panel’s members. The move comes at a time when the panel is about to consider whether to tighten safety standards for lead-levels in children, and when a Rhode Island court is hearing a potentially precedent-setting case in which the state has sued the makers of lead paint for creating a public nuisance.