The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal to reduce the amount of lead that can remain in the dust on floors and windowsills after lead removal activities to better protect children from the harmful effects of lead exposure. The proposed, tighter standards would increase the effectiveness of work done to remove lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 homes and childcare facilities, known as abatement, and lower the risk of lead exposure by ensuring that lead-based paint hazards are effectively and permanently eliminated following completion of the work.
When actions are taken to remove lead from homes and child care facilities, those buildings must then be tested to make sure that the cleaning activities were successful. These “clearance levels” indicate that lead dust was effectively removed at the end of the abatement work. Today’s proposal would lower the clearance levels for dust on floors and windowsills after lead removal activities from 40 micrograms (µg) of lead in dust per square foot (ft2) to 10 µg/ft2 for floor dust and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 for windowsill dust. EPA is proposing these new lower clearance levels to reduce the lead dust-related risks to children specifically in pre-1978 homes and child care facilities where lead abatement activities have taken place.