A recent article in a publication of the National Academy of Sciences (Lifelines, September 1976) raised the question "How much lead can a child eat?" The answer is: no more than 4.5 mg lead/kg body weight per day. The fact is that many children do exceed this limit, especially those living in old and poorly maintained housing areas where the paint with high lead content put on 30 to 50 years ago is now peeling off. Eating plaster and putty contaminated with such paint can cause severe metabolic and neurological disorders. HUD, one of the world's largest landlords, has a contract out to study the possible prevention of such ingestion by addition to paint of "Bitrex" (Denatonium Benzoate), a bitter, distasteful but nontoxic substance. The assumption is that if children dislike the bitter taste of this new paint, the problem could be solved most economically by painting over the old houses to make them look good and taste bad.