Paint Firms Pay $1.1bn, Clean Up Lead Toxins

by | Dec 18, 2013

A Santa Clara County judge has ordered paint manufacturers Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra to put $1.1 billion into a state-held fund that will be used to clean up lead paint toxins in California cities and counties, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Ten cities and counties sued the paint industry in 2000; although the state banned lead paint in 1978 it was still in millions of homes in these municipalities.

Los Angeles County, with more potentially contaminated homes than the other nine, could receive the most abatement funds: $605 million. The newspaper reports Santa Clara and Alameda counties could each collect $99 million and San Mateo County could receive $55 million. Other municipalities include San Francisco, Solano, Monterey, San Diego and Ventura counties.

In a column published yesterday on Environmental Leader, the EPA’s Jim Jones says green chemistry is reducing the amount of a chemicals needed in paint, reducing manufacturing costs and environmental pollution.

For example, Dow Chemical’s new technology used to make exterior house paint reduces the paint’s carbon footprint by more than 22 percent, water consumption by 30 percent, harmful emissions by 24 percent, and water impacts like algae bloom by 27 percent — while providing other benefits for water and air quality, Jones writes.


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