Taking a Charge in the Paint
In an effort to force Rhode Island to abandon its lawsuit against the country’s biggest lead paint manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has requested that state and Providence city officials produce 50 years of public records that have anything to do with lead poisoning. The chamber hopes the documents reveal mistakes and liabilities created by public officials dealing with the lead problem. State Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) called the chamber “shills for the paint industry” and said the state won’t be intimidated by the request. Meanwhile, the paint industry has asked a superior court judge to throw out the state’s case, which accuses the industry of knowing that lead paint was dangerous before it was banned in the U.S in 1978 and covering up the risk; a decision from the judge is expected soon.