EPA Proposes More Stringent Dust-Lead Standards

To help reduce risks to children from exposure to dust-lead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new standards for lead found in dust on floors and window sills. Touted by the EPA as an important step to reduce lead exposure, the proposal would change the dust-lead hazard standards from 40 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 on floors and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 on window sills. The standards apply to most pre-1978 housing, as well as child-occupied facilities, including day care centers and kindergarten facilities. Noting that lead-contaminated dust from chipped and peeling lead-based paint is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children, the EPA said that strengthening the standards for lead in dust is an important component of the Agency’s strategy to curtail childhood lead exposure. For the proposed rule, click here. For the EPA press release, click here.