EPA Announces New Lead Standards that Will Apply to Certain Schools, Child Care Facilities, Hospitals, and Residential Properties
The Board for Global EHS Credentialing® (BGC®) reminds employers, workers, and the public of the importance of protecting against exposure to lead hazards.
Lansing, MI, August 19th, 2019 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children. Unfortunately, approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which the agency recommends public health actions be initiated.
A major source of exposure comes from lead-based paints which were not banned for use in residential housing until 1978. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed from multiple sources and may experience irreversible and life-long health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed.
To address the exposure risk from lead-based paints, the EPA recently announced that tighter standards for lead in dust on floors and window sills will go into effect later this year. The more protective dust-lead hazard standards will apply to inspections, risk assessments, and abatement activities in pre-1978 housing and certain schools, child care facilities, and hospitals.
“The EPA is lowering the dust-lead hazard standards from 40 micrograms of lead per square foot (µg/ft2) to 10 µg/ft2 on floors and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 on window sills,” said Dirk Yamamoto, PhD, CIH® and Chair of the Board for Global EHS Credentialing®. “These new standards were announced on June 21st and will become effective 180 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.”
One group of professionals dedicated to preventing lead poisoning in the community and in work environments are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs). CIHs are uniquely qualified to help identify and manage lead exposure risks in residential, commercial and institutional environments. They are trained and experienced in community exposure, workplace assessments, air sampling, toxicology, risk analysis, hazard communication, and engineering controls. These and other core areas of expertise required to become a CIH® are critical for their ability to protect the public from lead hazards and establish or maintain a safe and healthy work environment.
About the Board for Global EHS Credentialing® (BGC®) and Its Credentials and Designations
Founded in 1960, the Board for Global EHS Credentialing’s mission is to be the leader in offering credentials that elevate the technical and ethical standards for professionals practicing the science of protecting, managing, and enhancing the health and safety of people and the environment. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) and the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice® (IPEP®) are credentialing divisions of the BGC, offering the Certified Industrial Hygienist® (CIH®) credential, Qualified Environmental Professional® (QEP®) credential, and the Environmental Professional In-Training® (EPI®) designation.
Currently, more than 7,600 people around the world hold the CIH credential, QEP credential, or EPI designation. To locate a CIH to perform industrial hygiene services, please email a request to Info@EHSCredentialing.org. To learn more about a BGC credential or designation, please visit www.EHSCredentialing.org, email Info@EHSCredentialing.org or call (517) 321-2638.