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Children’s Health Advisors to Make Recommendations to EPA

According to a draft letter circulated by industry media, EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC) will make recommendations to the Agency to further reduce lead exposure from lead based paint and drinking water.  The CHPAC reiterates that there is no safe level of lead.  In the draft letter, the group identifies their four highest priorities for EPA:

  • Strengthen the agency’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Standard for lead paint, dust, soil
  • Revise the Lead and Copper Rule to reduce lead in drinking water
  • Improve risk communication efforts to provide clarity and consistency
  • Encourage the Administration’s infrastructure investment program to support healthy housing and schools, and safe drinking water

The letter recognizes lead based paint as the most significant source of elevated blood lead levels in young children but puts increased emphasis on lead in drinking water, citing problems in Flint and Washington, DC as highlighting that need.  The CHPAC support the NDWAC recommendations for improving the LCR, particularly better testing protocols, lead service line replacement, and the still-to-be-determine household action level.  Under their risk communication recommendations, the CHPAC advocate for including more drinking water information in the brochure on lead hazards in the home.  For infrastructure, the CHPAC also suggests that federal investments in both housing and schools to ensure safe drinking water.
This CHPAC pronouncement provides more support for continuing action to reduce lead risk by EPA and other federal agencies, and should encourage EPA to move forward with strengthening the LCR.  The final version of the letter should be available in a few weeks and ASDWA will circulate the final letter to states.