The federal government, in one of the largest efforts of its kind, is developing a three-pronged effort to wipe out lead poisoning among children.

The initiative will involve removing lead-based paint from millions of homes, with a focus on lower-income families. Monitoring lead hazards in homes where children have high levels of lead in their blood and offering nutritional guidance as well as treatment are proposed. And tighter drinking water standards and a ban on lead plumbing fixtures may be adopted."This is saying we can eliminate this disease. We don't need children being poisoned by lead in the United States," said Dr. Sue Binder, chief of the lead poisoning prevention branch in the Centers for Disease Control.

The initiative will require close cooperation among all levels of government and the private sector.

The plans may be the largest effort designed to eliminate an environmental disease, she said. But so far, the CDC's recommendations represent only a strategic plan. "We still need to think through the things we need to do and the details of how to do them," she said.