Attorney General Henry Supports EPA Proposal to Strengthen Lead Hazard Standards

Office of the Attorney General

PENNSYLVANIA — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that Pennsylvania joined a coalition of 13 Attorneys General that support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to strengthen the dust-lead hazard standards and post-abatement clearance levels, as authorized by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The letter supports efforts to toughen regulations that protect the public against dangerous dust-lead and lead paint exposure. The EPA’s proposed regulations recognize scientific studies that show any exposure to lead is harmful — even very low levels can cause serious health effects. Lead exposure is associated with delayed growth and lower academic performance, among other harms, in young children. These stronger regulations, if adopted, will reduce exposure to lead and the associated adverse health effects.

Lead paint was banned in residential homes in 1978.  Pennsylvania ranks in the top 10 nationally for older housing, with 70 percent of residential units built before 1980. Lead dust from lead paint contaminates buildings where it was used and also often contaminates the air and soil surrounding the buildings.

“Our top priority is ensuring Pennsylvanians can feel safe in their homes and communities, and addressing harmful effects of lead through these more stringent standards will help accomplish those goals,” Attorney General Henry said. “I am proud to join this coalition and initiative to protect people and the environment. Once finalized, these more protective rules will apply in Pennsylvania where we expect compliance.”

The letter also urges the EPA to address lead contamination in soil and how lead paint is defined. Recently, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General shared additional concerns about lead contamination in soil in a separate letter to the EPA.

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Joining Attorney General Henry in sending the letter are Attorneys General of Illinois, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.

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