WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal to lower the lead-dust hazard standards and is asking for public comment. The new proposed standards for lead in dust for floors and windowsills will be a step to reduce lead exposure.

“Reducing childhood lead exposure is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Lead-contaminated dust from chipped and peeling lead-based paint is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Strengthening the standards for lead in dust is an important component of EPA’s strategy to curtail childhood lead exposure.”

The agency is proposing to change the dust-lead hazard standards from 40 µg/ft2 and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and windowsills, respectively. These standards apply to most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, such as daycare centers and kindergarten facilities. In addition, EPA is proposing to make no change to the definition of lead-based paint, because the agency says it currently lacks sufficient information to support such a change.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 45 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0166.

Click here to read the proposed rule.