How the U.S. is taking the lead on preventing lead poisoning

Rachel Shaffer

The crisis in Flint, Michigan, returned our attention to a problem that we would have preferred to believe was behind us: lead poisoning. This incident highlighted the dangers of lead-lined water pipes, but, unfortunately, there are numerous other sources of lead exposure throughout the United States. I’ve written previously about risks from contact with contaminated soil or through the workplace. Lead-based paint, outdoor air, and manufactured products also pose risks. Because of these diverse sources, eliminating lead poisoning is challenging and requires coordination across multiple programs and policies. Understanding this complex need—and perhaps sensing the increased public concern regarding lead in the United States—the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children released a report entitled “Key Federal Programs to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Eliminate Associated Health Impacts” in November 2016. This report describes the numerous federal agencies, regulations, and programs that have been established to address lead exposures in children. It also marks progress towards the development of an enhanced lead strategy that will address existing policy gaps. The report is worth a read; you may be surprised by the number of existing policies and efforts aimed at mitigating lead exposure. There are almost […]

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