Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Pat Rizzuto
Tightening lead-hazard standards and issuing a rule to reduce lead in drinking water should be among the EPA’s priorities to reduce children’s lead exposures, an agency advisory committee says.
The Environmental Protection Agency had asked its Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee during the administration of President Barack Obama about priority actions to reduce children’s lead exposure.
Concerns about exposure to the toxic metal garnered significant attention in 2016 when the nation learned about the crisis in Flint, Mich., whose drinking water was contaminated with unhealthy levels of lead. Most of the city’s 100,000 residents are still having to rely on bottled water.
Doug Ericksen, who directs communications for the Trump administration’s landing team, didn’t reply Feb. 2 to Bloomberg BNA’s questions about whether advice the EPA sought during Obama’s presidency would continue to be of interest.
More than 500,000 children have elevated blood lead levels, the committee said during its Feb. 1-2 meeting.
Those elevated levels can lower the children’s IQ scores and increase children’s risk of behavior problems, both of which can have lifelong harm, it said.
Black and poor children are at higher risk than those who are white and live in higher income households.
The committee identified four priority EPA actions:
The EPA has said it will propose revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule this year and has been under more pressure to do so since the Flint crisis.
The Lead and Copper Rule limits the concentrations of lead and copper allowed in public drinking water. It also limits the permissible amount of pipe corrosion that can occur from compounds in the water itself. Flint’s decision to switch the source of the city’s drinking water from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River sparked the crisis because proper corrosion controls weren’t put in place to prevent lead from leaching from aging service lines.
During the lead discussion, a committee member summarized the panel’s core message about the lead and copper rule as: “Get it out!” The committee left details about the content of the rule to the agency.
The agency’s Science Advisory Board recommended in 2011 that the agency update its lead dust hazard standards to protect both children and adults, but the agency has not done so.
Committee members pointed to more stringent dust-lead action levels the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development recommended in guidance it issued Jan. 31. That could spur the EPA to follow suit, several members said.
HUD’s guidance reduced the lead in dust action level from 40 micrograms per square foot (μg/ft2) to 10 μg/ft2 on floors and from 250 μg/ft2 to 100 μg/ft2 on window sills. The guidance applies to HUD grantees effective April 1, 2017.
The children’s health protection committee will complete a draft letter detailing its priorities after the meeting before transmitting it to the EPA.
—With assistance from Rachel Leven in Washington, D.C.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington, D.C., at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)