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The Editors

Lead Paint’s Tragic Comeback

One of the surest signs of the growing middle class in the developing world -- a freshly painted house -- is also one of the most worrisome. That’s because too much of that paint is toxic.

There’s no debate about the pernicious effects of lead: Ingesting it, and inhaling its fumes and dust, can cause irreversible brain and nerve damage. No level of exposure is considered safe, which is why lead paint has been banned for most uses in the U.S. and Europe for decades. Shockingly, however, U.S. and European Union companies continue to manufacture lead paint in developing countries, where few governments regulate the stuff.