EPA website on Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil: "Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from motor vehicles and industrial sources, and lead can enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk."
- News release: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a series of steps to increase protections against and raise awareness of lead-based products in our environment and communities, particularly to prevent lead poisoning in children. The steps announced today are:
- EPA announced that it will grant a petition to initiate regulatory action to address lead hazards associated with the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead wheel balancing weights ("wheel weights")...Lead is highly toxic, especially to young children, and recent data shows that even very low levels of lead are associated with decreased intelligence, impaired neurobehavioral development, and behavioral effects. According to a U.S. Geological Survey study in 2003, 65,000 tons of lead wheel weights were in use in the United States and approximately 2,000 tons of these weights were lost from vehicles into the environment. Voluntary actions on the part of U.S. auto manufactures and an European Union ban on their use has reduced the number of lead wheel weights, but they continue to be the predominate product in the tire replacement market."
- EPA intends to strengthen requirements it issued in 2008 to protect children from lead-based paint poisoning associated with renovation and repair activities in homes and schools. EPA will propose to expand lead-safe work practices and other protective requirements for renovation and painting work involving lead paint to cover most pre-1978 housing, and after certain renovation, repair, and painting preparation activities are performed to require renovation firms to perform quantitative dust testing to achieve dust-lead levels that comply with EPA's regulatory standards. Renovations on the exteriors of public and commercial buildings will also be proposed to be covered and EPA will evaluate whether renovations in the interior of these buildings create lead-based paint hazards."