Poor black children in Baltimore were exposed to "dangerous levels" of lead during a 1990s housing experiment, a new lawsuit claims. Families in the class action suit say the Kennedy Krieger Institute knowingly placed children in houses with high levels of lead-paint poisoning, the Baltimore Sun reports. But the hospital says the children were put in homes with lower contamination than where they lived before. "The lawyers have wrongly placed blame on our Institute," says an institute rep.
The study, which formed the basis for a new lead paint law in Baltimore, found that most of the children did not suffer from higher lead levels in the new homes—but a few did. And a previous lawsuit revealed that researchers failed to warn families of the risks, or inform them about elevated lead levels in time. The hospital "used these children as known guinea pigs in these contaminated houses to complete this study," the current suit claims. (Read more lead paint stories.)