TAKING THE LEAD OUT WILL COST HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS SAY EXPERTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
TAKING THE LEAD OUT WILL COST HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS
SAY EXPERTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
NEW YORK, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that the asbestos in your home has been abated, you can breathe easy, right? Well, hold your breath, because America's number one environmental threat -- especially to kids -- is lead.
The federal government estimates that 57 million houses and apartments -- three quarters of all housing units built before 1980 -- contain lead paint. What's worse, one out of five Americans is suffering from the effects of lead poisoning.
Responding to public demand, ATC Environmental Inc. (NASDAQ: ATCE), a known leader in lead testing and abatement, has set up the first national public service seminars on the problem. Seminars in 10 cities, beginning Nov. 11, 1991, will address (1) How to determine if your home or office is safe; (2) Who is most at risk; (3) What are the warning signs and physical symptoms of lead poisoning for you or your child; (4) What can be done to get the lead out.
According to Morry Rubin, president of ATC Environmental Inc., "Americans are unaware of the presence and hazards of lead which often permeate their homes and disable their children. It is our mission to inform people about the dangers of lead and how to remove them."
How much will it cost to rid Americans of dangerous, often deadly, lead pollution? Lead remediation costs are estimated at $499 billion. This is one seventh of our vast national debt, $3.674 trillion.
During a recent congressional hearing, the Department of Health and Human Services and the EPA named lead poisoning as the number one environmental health problem affecting children. At least 250,000 children younger than six have been diagnosed as having high levels of lead in their blood, according to the HHS.
President Bush recognized this health hazard. In the last federal budget for fiscal year 1991 -- possibly the leanest ever -- appropriations for public housing modernization grew from $2.03 billion to $2.5 billion. This phenomenal 23 percent increase was justified primarily by the additional costs related to lead paint abatement.
The problem is widespread. In fact, one of the most renowned cases cites a young boy from Brooklyn, N.Y., who won a $6 million dollar settlement from New York City for lead poisoning he suffered while living in a city owned apartment. Nine-year-old Lamar Ridley was brain damaged by the highly toxic flecks of lead paint he ate as a toddler. As a result, Ridley has the mental age of a five-year-old and must be cared for in a mental health facility for the rest of his life.
ATC Environmental Inc.'s Morry Rubin says that the lead remediation process is a tremendous job, but he argues, along with HUD, state and local officials, that it is not a luxury but a necessity in order to save the next generation.
ATC Environmental Inc. is a national, multi-disciplined consulting firm providing assessment, monitoring, training and analytical services for lead and asbestos abatement and other environmental projects.
/CONTACT: Morry Rubin of ATC Environmental, 212-353-8280; or Lauren Karp or Warren Cavior of The Cavior Organization, 212-687-6070, for ATC/
(ATCE) CO: ATC Environmental Inc. ST: New York IN: SU: JT -- NYFNS1 -- 0527 11/04/91 07:30 EST