Maryland: "Lawmakers Gird for Renewed Debate on Lead Poisoning"

"With efforts to reduce lead poisoning among children at a crossroads, Maryland lawmakers are wrestling with proposals to expand state regulation of home sales, rentals and repairs to reduce youngsters' exposure to the toxic metal."

"But the biggest question facing legislators might be how — or whether — to help landlords facing a flurry of lead-paint poisoning lawsuits from former tenants.

The number of young children reported poisoned by lead in Maryland has dropped 98 percent since the mid-1990s. Still, more than 500 youngsters statewide turned up with harmful levels in their blood in 2010, risking lifelong learning, behavior and other health problems.

Eight bills have been introduced in the General Assembly dealing with the contentious issue, which pits owners of rental housing against children's health advocates because most older homes contain lead-based paint. A house committee will hear six of the measures Wednesday."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun March 6, 2012.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012