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Protecting Our Children From Lead Exposures

girl_and_chipped_paint_shutterstock_160539521Since the 1970s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its state, tribal and local governmental partners have made tremendous progress in reducing children’s lead exposures and lead-related health risks. EPA efforts to reduce lead exposures and prevent lead poisoning include a wide range of activities such as funding for community interventions and outreach, education and training, surveillance, and regulation and enforcement.

Blood lead levels have fallen dramatically in the United States due to the promulgation, implementation, and enforcement of laws and regulations aimed at reducing lead exposure. The largest declines in blood lead levels occurred from the 1970s to the 1990s following the elimination of lead in motor-vehicle gasoline, the ban on lead paint for residential use, removal of lead from solder in food cans, and bans on the use of lead pipes and plumbing fixtures. Figure 1 depicts the timeline for major actions to prevent lead poisoning and reductions in mean blood lead levels (micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL)) among children ages 1 to 5 years from 1972 to 2012. Read more

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