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—Dr Schlenker raises what we believe is a vitally important issue, namely, the urgent need for quantitative data to guide health and housing policy regarding household lead abatement.His point about the lack of a "no abatement" control group is also a good one. We devoted a great deal of time to discussing this issue while designing the study. Schlenker correctly identifies that our decision not to include a no abatement control group in the study limits valid comparisons with the three abatement strategies that were used. Given the evidence indicating the neurotoxicity of children's blood lead levels less than 1.21 μmol/L (<25 μg/dL) and the known contribution of chipping paint to a child's risk of an elevated blood lead level, however, we believed that it would be unethical to have study personnel doing environmental inspections in children's homes and not stabilizing chipping interior paint. We recognize that
Weitzman M, Aschengrau A, Bellinger D. Soil Abatement and Lead Levels in Children-Reply. JAMA. 1993;270(7):829-830. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070051024