Three paint manufacturers were ordered by the California Sixth District Court of Appeal to remove lead out of San Diego homes that were built before 1951.
The decision cames in the 17th year of the landmark case over lead pain toxins, filed in the year 2000 by then-Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Ravel.
Tuesday, a three-justice panel of the federal appeals court upheld a ruling ordering Sherwin-Williams Company, NL Industries, Inc., and Con-Agra Grocery Products Company to clean up lead paint in homes located in San Diego and nine other cities and counties in the state.
Lead paint is the main cause of lead poisoning in children who reside in those older homes, according to the Center for Disease Control and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch.
Lead poisoning is linked to growth and development problems in children, which can affect behavior, learning, and hearing. It can also damage the brain and nervous system, the stomach, kidneys and cause high blood pressure in adults.
"This is a resounding victory for the thousands of children endangered by lead paint in their homes," said City Attorney Mara W. Elliott.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, the case is remanded to the Santa Clara County to determine what the extent of damages is for the homes.
All three paint companies reported they plan to appeal the decision to the California Supreme Court.