Action Ended On
What was at Stake
Lead exposure, particularly during childhood, can result in devastating health impacts. Even in tiny amounts, children exposed to lead can suffer permanent, irreparable consequences, including learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and impaired hearing. Lead exposure is also linked to serious illness in adults, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes how dangerous lead poisoning is to children and communities – yet why does the EPA refuse to commit to change its regulations for lead paint hazards (which includes lead in paint, soil, and dust) and lead in water to make them truly health protective?
The Environmental Protection Agency recently unveiled a draft lead strategy that the agency says will strengthen public health protections and address legacy lead contaminations for the most exposed communities. Lead poisoning disproportionately affects communities of color, with Black non-Hispanic children having the highest concentration of lead in their blood. But the plan falls short on specifics beyond describing the serious lead problem that communities face.
We must tackle the contamination that can be found in our homes and schools from lead hazards such as peeling paint, contaminated dust, toxic soil, and contaminated water resulting from legacy uses of lead. As many as 22 million people in the United States drink water that passed through lead pipes. In many places, lead leaches into the water as it did in Flint, Michigan. And there are about 3.6 million residences nationwide where young children live with lead hazards such as peeling paint, contaminated dust, or toxic soil.
Now we need your help to urge the EPA to enact strengthened standards and take a holistic approach to protect children and communities from lead exposure.
The EPA treats lead as primarily a ‘legacy’ concern, but lead is still emitted at alarming levels from steel mills, incinerators, battery recyclers, and other industrial sources. There is no safe level of lead exposure and yet lead is still being actively released into the environment around us.
We must urge the EPA to do what is right and overdue: take a holistic approach to protect children and communities from lead exposure.