Tuesday, July 3, 2018

EPA Releases New Lead Dust Standard for Public Comment

epa lead dust OR childhood lead poisoning
As part of last year's federal order, EPA released its new dust-lead
health standard for public comment. The new standard is a significant
reduction and will apply to properties covered by the RRP rule.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposal to lower the dust-lead hazard standards for public comment. The proposed standard will reduce the threshold from 40 µg/ft2 and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2. The standard will apply to properties under the RRP rule, including houses built before 1978 and child-occupied facilities.

The proposal is part of a federal order from last December. The Ninth Court of Appeals ruled that EPA had taken too long to act on a 2009 petition for tougher lead regulations, and ordered EPA into action. Now, EPA is halfway to updating some of its lead standards which have not changed in nearly 17 years.

Lead dust is a major source of lead exposure. When old homes are disturbed either through renovation or deterioration, flakes of lead-based paint can quickly become airborne. Lead exposure can cause irreversible bone and reproductive defects, kidney disease, organ failure and cognitive delays. Childhood lead poisoning is a national concern as it can go undiagnosed in kids until it's far too late to help them.

"Reducing childhood lead exposure is a top priority for EPA. Lead-contaminated dust from chipped and peeling lead-based paint ins one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Strengthening the standards for lead in dust is an important component of EPA's strategy to curtail childhood lead exposure," Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, said in a recent press release.

EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 45 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0166-0001. It's important to remember the comment process is not a vote, so even one well-supported comment can be more influential than a thousand form letters. For tips on submitting an effective comment, click here. If you have experience with lead dust and want to share your opinion, the public comment period is open until August 16, 2018 and can be submitted online here.

Reducing lead exposure is an important step toward protecting our communities. To learn more about the rule, visit EPA. To learn more about lead paint and how to get certified to work in this industry, visit Zack Academy.

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