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GHHI Statement Regarding EPA’s Proposed Lowering of Lead Dust Clearance Standards Following Lead Hazard Reduction Activities

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lowering of the clearance standards for allowable lead dust following lead abatement activities in pre-1978 housing and child occupied facilities announced today. This rule change will result in more protective standards and improved lead safe work practices to ensure that properties are properly cleaned up of lead contamination and children are better protected from hazardous lead dust that can remain after lead paint is disturbed.

The research in the past twenty years has clearly demonstrated the need for the United States to modernize its lead inspection standards. This rule change will lower the lead dust clearance standards from 40 micrograms (µg) of lead in dust per square foot (ft2) to 10 µg/ft2 for floors and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 for window sills. For consistency in the industry, this regulatory change will also make post-remediation lead dust clearance levels match the updated standards for pre-housing remediation lead dust hazard inspection and identification that were adopted in 2019 by EPA and HUD.

Lead poisoning disproportionately impacts children of color living in low income communities especially African American children. Exposure to lead causes learning disabilities, speech development problems, loss of IQ, attention deficit disorder and aggressive, violent behavior that often results in poor school performance and increased school drop-out and juvenile delinquency rates. GHHI will continue to advocate for stronger protections in regulations promulgated by EPA, HUD and other federal and state agencies in order to have health-based standards adopted that dramatically lower the allowable amounts of lead in paint, dust, soil, water and products as part of an overall strategy to achieve zero lead exposure levels. We must fulfill our promise to eradicate the toxic legacy of lead poisoning in order to reduce racial disparities and improve equitable opportunities and outcomes so that every child may reach their full potential.

Ruth Ann Norton

President and CEO

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

Read the Press Release

Read the Proposed Rule

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