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On June 22, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal to lower the dust-lead hazard standards for public comment.  The new proposed standards come in response to increased concerns of how little lead exposure is required to negatively impact the health of children. Lowering the standards for lead dust on floors and window sills would be an important step in further reducing lead exposure in the United States and would hold contractors performing work in older homes to a more stringent standard than currently in place.

The EPA is currently proposing no change to the definition of lead-based paint since the agency currently lacks sufficient information to support such an adjustment at this time.

The EPA is proposing to change the dust-lead hazard standards from 40 µg/ft2 and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills, respectively. These standards would apply to most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, such as day care centers and kindergarten facilities.

Per Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, “Reducing childhood lead exposure is a top priority for the EPA, Lead-contaminated dust from chipped and peeling lead-based paint is 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.”

Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects and is particularly dangerous for young children, because their nervous systems are still developing. Weight, metabolism, diet and the lack of a well-developed blood-brain barrier are all factors that can exacerbate the impact of lead on kids, particularly those under six years old.  Lead exposure continues to pose a significant health and safety threat to Americans who live or consistently visit structures built before 1978 when the use of lead-based paint was permitted.

The EI Group offers a wide range of regulated lead classes as well as RRP courses required to perform most renovations, repairs and painting in homes built prior to 1978.

To learn more about lead and what you can do to meet the requirements of the existing and proposed standards, contact me (919) 459-5276 or dwalker@ei1.com.