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AG Nessel Calls on EPA to Strengthen Protections Against Childhood Lead Poisoning

Dana Nessel news conference Detroit.jpeg
Max Ortiz/Detroit News
/
Associated Press
Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks during a news conference in Detroit, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause serious and irreversible adverse health effects. A 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that elevated blood lead levels in children were closely related to poverty, race, and living in older housing.

Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, has joined a coalition of 19 state attorneys general calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA to better protect children from lead poisoning. The group is particularly focused on children living in low-income communities and communities of color.

In comments on the EPA's "Draft Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities," the coalition called the draft strategy a "strong starting point." However, the coalition lays out specific recommendations for how EPA should bolster the plan to more aggressively and comprehensively combat the many ways in which children are exposed to lead.

"We have already seen what lead can do when it gets into the water supply," Nessel said. "I'm proud to stand with my colleagues in asking the EPA to strengthen its approach to childhood lead poisoning and the ways children can be exposed - not just through the water they drink, but also the very food that they eat, the paint and soil in their homes and daycares, and gasoline in cars driven nearby. Since lead poisoning disproportionately affects low-income children, this is an environmental justice issue that requires expeditious action on the EPA's part."

Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause serious and irreversible adverse health effects. A 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that elevated blood lead levels in children were closely related to poverty, race, and living in older housing.

The coalition has credited the EPA on it’s draft strategy for increased protections, but has pushed a list of its own measures to strengthen procedures by aggressively targeting hazards posed by lead in paint, drinking water, soil, food and more.

Joining Attorney General Nessel in submitting the comments are the attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

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