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July 18, 1990

The Toxic Village Print Shop

Author Affiliations

Department of Health and Human Services Dallas, Tex

Department of Health and Human Services Dallas, Tex

JAMA. 1990;264(3):335-336. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450030051021

To the Editor.—  With a mother who was an art teacher and a background as a medical toxicologist, I feel compelled to comment about the February 16, 1990, JAMA cover and Dr Southgate's1 historical narrative. In this cover a boy is drinking from a cup while standing next to a table with food containers next to lead plates and lead type boxes. The federal lead standard enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, based on studies of the epidemiology of lead poisoning, does not allow the consumption of any food or drink in the workplace, because lead dust in the air can be transferred to food and food containers, as well as by unwashed hands of workers. In addition, children are more susceptible to the effects of lead, with neurobehavioral and IQ deficits shown in children at lower blood lead levels. While lead poisoning was common in