Americans would help finance the towering costs of finding and removing hazardous lead paint from older homes in Baltimore and elsewhere around the country by paying about $15 more for their car batteries, under legislation being introduced in Congress today.
Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., said the bill he drafted would raise $1 billion a year for lead-paint abatement by levying an excise tax on continuing uses of lead.
"This legislation provides the only real cure for lead poisoning -- prevention," Cardin said in a statement.
"The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in the 1970s, but has done next to nothing to remove the 3 million tons of lead- based paint that remains in our homes. This legislation is the next step."
The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., was hailed by environmentalists and health advocates.