One hundred years ago, Gibson described an epidemic of childhood lead
poisoning from the ingestion of lead-based paint.1 He
showed that paint was the primary source of lead intake for these children
by measuring lead on wipe samples collected from porch railings and houses
that had recently been painted. Gibson speculated that educational efforts
would prevent lead poisoning because many children with lead poisoning were
reported to bite their nails or suck their fingers.1 Four
years later, after their educational efforts failed to prevent lead poisoning,
Gibson’s colleague, Turner, concluded, “Prevention is easy. Paint
containing lead should never be employed . . . where children,
especially young children, are accustomed to play.”2
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