Arguments began this week in Santa Clara County in a 13-year-old lawsuit to force paint manufacturers to pay nearly $1 billion to remove lead paint from millions of homes. Ten counties, including Alameda, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and several cities have sued five paint companies, arguing they sold the products despite being aware of the health hazards of lead. Lead paint has been banned in the state since 1978, but it still remains on many homes built before that. The paint industry argues they never deliberately sold harmful products and that the older paint no longer poses a significant health risk.
Julie Twichell, communications manager for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department
Richard Frank, director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center at UC Davis
Bonnie Campbell, former Iowa attorney general and an advisor to the defense