"Maryland's health secretary said Friday that his department's laboratory has destroyed test results dating to the 1980s documenting lead poisoning of Maryland children - potentially thousands of records that plaintiffs' lawyers say are crucial to pursuing lawsuits seeking damages on behalf of poisoned children and their families.
Joshua Sharfstein said he has asked for an investigation of how the destruction of records happened, replaced the lab's director and ordered that efforts be made to recover whatever test results might have been deleted from state computer files.
"We regret this, and we're going to do everything possible to make it right," Sharfstein said in a phone interview.
Doctors and health clinics have been required since the 1980s to report to the state health department results of tests showing that children had elevated levels of lead in their blood."
Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Washington Post March 15, 2011.