US Court of Appeals Decision Pushes EPA to Update Standards on Lead Paint in 90 Days

On December 27, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to propose updates to its 17-year-old standards for lead-based paint and dust within 90 days. Previously, the EPA had requested an additional six years to reconsider what level of lead exposure is acceptable for children, but the overwhelming scientific acknowledgement that lead-based paint hazards cause serious health effects to our nation’s children requires the Agency to act swiftly now. 

The Ninth Circuit determined that the EPA has a responsibility to conduct an ongoing review of its initial standards and to modify its lead-based paint standards to make sure they are adequately protective of children’s health. This decision recognizes both the toxic legacy of lead and the continued risk posed by lead-based paint hazards which persist in millions of homes nationwide. GHHI strongly supports the Ninth Circuit’s decision as a step toward modernizing our standards and strategies in light of current science and best prevention practices. We also want to recognize the Court for the potential impact that this decision may have in preventing lead poisoning and brain damage for thousands of vulnerable children each year.

GHHI’s Strategic Plan to End Childhood Lead Poisoning – A Blueprint for Action documents specific, evidence-based, actionable strategies to end childhood lead poisoning in five years. The Plan recommends updated federal guidelines and standards for inspections, lead dust testing and clearance, reflecting current scientific and technical knowledge. As the convener of the National Campaign to End Lead Poisoning, GHHI, in partnership with organizations around the country, is leading the charge to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States. We look forward to continuing to work with partners to advance this important work, and support the nation’s children in achieving their full potential.

Read the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in this case at: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2017/12/27/16-72816.pdf

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