The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

"... The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution": Taking Action in a Landmark Case Against the Lead-Paint Industry

Monday, February 27, 2006


It was a very exciting week for our project. Our project centers around a Rhode Island case concerning the responsibility of the lead paint industry for the health problems that the paint has caused in children. On February 22, the jury reached a verdict and found three former lead paint companies responsible for poisoning thousands of children in Rhode Island. The companies could potentially have to pay millions of dollars in damages, but the excitement surrounding the verdict does not stop there. This case truly is a landmark case and has lead to similar cases in other states. It is likely that the verdict for the Roade Island case will effect the verdicts of similar cases.

Our interest in this project was sparked by Dr. David Rosner, a professor of history and public health at Columbia. Dr. Rosner testified against the lead paint industry and has met with us to discuss his involvement in the case. After meeting with him, our group was motivated to look further into the world of industrial pollution from a historical perspective, a legal perspective, and as it relates to broader environmental and social health issues.

The recent verdict of the Rhode Island case gives our project a positive outlook as we begin our research. It acts as a warning to other industries to raise the standards of their product liability and work harder to protect the environment and health of their consumers. Working on this project, I hope to examine specific industries such as the lead paint industry, the automobile industry, and the prescription drug industry to look at their outlook on their moral responsibilities as major industries. In the research I have done so far it has become clear that the idea of moral responsibility is becoming increasingly more important as we see more and more cases concerning pollution of both the environment and individual health. In my paper I will also aim to look at how the government approaches this idea of moral responsibility and what will be the future of industrial politics.


Rick Rabin said...

The lead paint industry did indeed sell lead paint long after it was obvious that lead paint was poisoning and killing young children.


1:07 PM  

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