WASHINGTON - The National Paint & Coatings Association, in an extensive response to the NAACP's recent announcement that it planned to take legal action against former lead-paint producers, is calling for a cooperative effort to find "new and effective solutions where lead-based paint constitutes a health threat."
NPCA President Andrew Doyle also sent a personal letter to Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP), requesting a meeting with Mfume "to discuss their mutual goals of reducing lead exposure and advancing constructive solutions," the NPCA said.
Mfume, at the NAACP's recent annual meeting, said the organization planned to file suit against former lead-paint producers, saying lead-based paint has been a source of health problems and constitutes a "civil-rights issue." The NPCA said it did not believe such a suit could be argued on civil-rights or environmental-justice grounds, but the association said Mfume's statement could offer a "silver lining" in that it could draw attention to the continuing problem of lead poisoning, "thereby providing programs designed to protect children with additional support."
In a separate letter to President George W. Bush, Doyle asked the Bush administration to "track a course for the elimination of childhood lead poisoning, and make it a national priority." He also emphasized "NPCA's willingness and readiness to work on that course for the riddance of lead hazards."
In a detailed review of various aspects of the lead-paint issue, the NPCA highlighted its efforts to address hazards posed by old lead-based paint, and also discussed its actions to deter costly and counter-productive litigation. The statement also discusses efforts to continue and expand the CLEARCorps lead-reduction program and other lead-education efforts. The NPCA's full statement on the possible NAACP lawsuit and its call for cooperative solutions is available on the NPCA website at www.paint.org/ind-issue/current/sept/issue01.htm.