Groups fight cuts in lead poison funds

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May 19th, 2015
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By: Karen MacPherson

Environmental and children’s groups are trying to persuade Congress to reject President Bush’s proposed 20 percent cut in a federal lead poisoning prevention program and actually boost funding instead, to $200 million from the current $174 million.

New children are identified as lead-poisoned every day, said Don Ryan, executive director of the Alliance for Healthy Homes, even though the number of children suffering from lead poisoning has declined significantly in the past decade — from 3 million in 1990 to some 400,000 today — because lead has been eliminated from gasoline and from many household hazards.

Lead poisoning can lower IQ, damage hearing and lead to behavior problems, so the ripple effects are felt in many areas of a child’s life, especially in school. The rate of lead poisoning is particularly high among low-income, minority children, and children in urban areas.

“If funding for the program is cut, more children will be left behind due to the effects of lead poisoning, which diminishes the ability to think, concentrate and make progress in school,” said Emil Parker, director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s health division.

At issue is funding for the federal Office of Health Homes and Lead Hazard Control, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year’s budget of $174 million provides grants to state and local governments for lead abatement efforts in low-income housing.

The program is the main national vehicle for eliminating lead paint hazards in private housing, the most common cause of childhood lead poisoning. An estimated 39 million U.S. homes contain lead paint, and it costs an average of $6,000 to either control or eliminate lead paint hazards in a home.

The department hopes to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010. In its proposed 2005 budget, the administration called the Lead Hazard Control Program “the central element of the president’s effort to eradicate childhood lead-paint poisoning” but recommended slicing its budget to $139 million for next year.

Housing Department spokesman Brian Sullivan said HUD would be glad to accept more money. “When Congress gives us more money, we’re not going to turn it down,” he said. “We defer to the folks with the power of the purse.”

Bush also proposed decreasing funding for the Lead Risk Prevention Program located in the Environmental Protection Agency to $11 million from $15 million. Two other federal anti-lead programs — at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services — would get modest increases under the Bush proposal.

Moira Singer, director of Lead Safe Pittsburgh, said federal funding is crucial. Last year, the city received a $2.16 million federal grant to address lead paint problems, she added.

The Pittsburgh area “has a huge risk” for lead poisoning, Singer said. Nearly 90 percent of the homes in Allegheny County were built before 1978, when the federal government prohibited lead in paint. And 64 percent were built before 1960, when most paint manufacturers began phasing out lead, which they had used to make colors brighter and the paint last longer.

“Unless something has been done, there is a high probability that there is lead-based paint in those homes,” she added. “It’s not just a low-income problem; it’s an old house problem.”

Lead paint on doors and windows is a particular problem, Singer said, because they move and the paint chips off. Even if doors and windows are painted over with lead-free paint, the paint underneath eventually can be brought to the surface as chips or dust to be ingested by children.

Screening children for lead poisoning is crucial to improve kids health and identify homes that need lead abatement, Parker said. But a recent report by the Environmental Working Group focused on Ohio found that only one in seven children ages one through five was screened for lead poisoning in 2002.

In recent years, cities and states have tried to boost funding for lead abatement programs by suing paint manufacturers, contending the companies knew lead was a health hazard long before they stopped adding it to paint. The governments claim they’ve been saddled with the resulting costs of lead abatement and health care.

These lawsuits have been generally unsuccessful, as have individual cases brought against manufacturers.

In July 2000, a Baltimore jury ruled against a man named Tyrone Parker, who sought up to $35 million from Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries and NL Industries. Parker contended the companies’ products had harmed him physically and mentally.

In a case brought against eight paint makers by the state of Rhode Island two years ago, the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and the judge declared a mistrial. PPG was not involved in that lawsuit.

Whatever the outcome of such lawsuits, Singer said experts know how to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.

“We need three things,” she said: “Good medical care and screening for lead poisoning; good, enforceable laws that ensure property managers maintain their property without waiting for a child to get poisoned; and funding.”

“None of this is going to happen without funding,” she added.

Note: Tips for homeowners on preventing lead paint poisoning may be found at

Follow through on decision

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Sep 3rd, 2014
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It was back to chemo today after a week off to think and recover. (my choice not doctors) I decided to go back to the Herceptin which has been quite effective but did cause my heart to fail. The doctor says we are taking a big risk but I feel like I do that with anything I put into my body at this point. At least I live a more normal life this way. My fingers and toes will hopefully heal and then we can try a different chemo drug in combination with the Herceptin. One of them has got to have side effects I can deal with. I have a month to get my body strong again then we add a chemo. It sure is nice having energy and a little bit of taste for now. Boy, that benadryl knocked me out today. I felt like I drank a very strong margarita! I was weaving out of the doctor’s office! Now it is off to snuggle with my two favorite fellas. As my Dad used to tell me “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Must be a Texas thing!

You made it!

If you are seeing this entry, it means you are now being redirected to my blog’s new home!

Don’t Overlook Futures Day Trading

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Aug 9th, 2014
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Day trading the futures markets is much the same from a chart perspective as purchasing and selling the stock market. The important differentiation may be the futures markets are normally leveraged (a relatively substantial asset is controlled by modest sum of capital). Even when you use margin on stocks, you do not see through the futures markets’ leverage. That is what helps to make the futures exchanges appealing as a vehicle that is day trading, or as a swing trading vehicle. Seldom do traders purchase futures for that long term – for the most part the bet may be a number of weeks.

Then the futures markets actually should be in your list to contemplate, if all you want to do is day trading. You then could just day trade the futures markets in the exact same time by starting a futures account, for those who have the SEC demanded $25000 simple minimal to day trade the stock exchange. There’s generally somewhat more volatility day trading within the futures markets than within the stock market, and some great opportunities can be granted by this. Most futures companies will mandate which you deposit about $5000 initially to start an account, certain brokers may be higher. Intra-day gross profits to commerce the overnight margin requirements are not usually considerably less than a contract or two. That is an individual must hold enough cash in news events’ account to cope with that degree of volatility and because immediately there might be big gaps in price due to they. Also, it’s not impossible if you maintain futures positions overnight (if not intra-day if stops are not used by you) to get your account get into a debit balance being a direct result the leverage. Nearly all futures brokers will close out all of your positions before this occurs and will certainly not let this occur. This type of occasion is not implausible and the threats should be comprehended. Intraday it’s not common, but it can occur with greater frequency.

They must not keep you from considering trading futures either if a day trader are you, while these risks shouldn’t be blown off. From the technical perspective, trading the futures markets is much like day trading the stock market, using the exclusion there are not any “news events” about the futures for example analyst upgrades or downgrades to worry about. News and financial events occur all the time, and these influence both stocks and index futures who trade them off, and this is nothing new. There are a number of areas now where you are able to get a free demo account to test day trading the futures markets. Consider incorporating the futures markets for your current trading, if you discover that you enjoy doing it.

The futures markets function particularly well for trying a robot that is day trading out, because greater volatility. The futures in many cases are a good choice for any kind of auto trading robot because they are usually much more held than stocks in a range. While a stock can run in several months of time from 10 to 200, the futures markets don’t have this large a work, although they are doing pattern down and up over months of time.