Lead paint hurts all of us. Tell the EPA to finalize new safety standards


Supporters spoke up in this action

Delivery to Environmental Protection Agency

Action ended on October 2, 2023

What Happens Next

Thank you to all who took action! We’re grateful for your support.

What Was At Stake

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed tougher standards on lead paint exposures in homes and childcare facilities. However, the fight is not over. We need your help to make sure the EPA finalizes this proposed rule. Send a letter to the EPA today.

For some context, the EPA’s lead standards have never been set to identify dangerous levels of lead despite Congress directing the EPA to do so. After two lawsuits brought by Earthjustice attorneys, EPA is finally doing what the law requires. The EPA is finally proposing standards that reflect the lived reality of the clients Earthjustice represents. Their lived reality is that any exposure to lead can result in serious health harms. Every exposure — whether that’s from lead dust, water, soil, or air — compounds in our bodies, which increases the likelihood of harm. It’s imperative that EPA strengthens its lead paint standards as it works to address lead in drinking water and other sources.

These lead exposures are also an environmental justice issue. This proposed rule would improve public health by reducing lead exposures from dust for up to 436,000 young children per year. The EPA estimates that this rule (if finalized) would result in monetized benefits ranging from $1.1 billion to $4.7 billion per year — all from increased lifetime earnings based on improved cognitive function that will result from implementation of this rule. This rule will particularly benefit children in low-wealth households and Black children, who face disproportionately high exposures to lead dust from paint.

There is no safe level of lead exposure and that’s why it’s important that the EPA finalizes this proposed rule. Send a letter to the EPA today.

Peeling paint in an old building.
Lead-based paint disintegrates over time and contaminates dust throughout homes or schools; lead in soil around these buildings also leads to children’s exposure. (M.R. / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention. Read more.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue.

Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court. Read more.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment. Read more.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.