• Engaging Landlords and Tenants in LSL Replacement

    Momentum is building to replace the estimated 9 million lead service lines that still bring water to properties nationwide. To achieve the goal, we need to engage landlords and renters in the process.

  • Lead in Paint: Contractor Machine-Sands Lead-Based Paint without Protection

    EPA’s lead-safe work practices should be the norm. Unfortunately, they are not.

  • Lead in Products: Local Efforts Shine Critical Light; Benefits Could Drive Larger Change

    Two cities have databases to capture consumer products containing lead. Their efforts create an obligation to translate their actions into international, national, state, local and corporate policies that will protect all children.

  • Lead in Food: Seattle/King County Leading on Metal Cookware

    A new study sheds light on lead leaching in metal cookware. Knowing the safest cookware for food preparation can help reduce exposure to lead.

  • Lead Funding: Summer 2024 Crucial for HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Grants

    By August, the House and Senate appropriations committees are expected to consider HUD’s funding needs and pass funding bills for FY25. Congress should adopt an appropriations bill that addresses the statutory and administrative barriers that have hamstrung the program.

  • Lead in Kids: California’s Lagging Screening May Fall Further Behind

    California is considering eliminating its Child Health and Disability Prevention Program that could set back blood-lead testing for kids, especially in low-income, rural areas. The program has served the crucial function of connecting families to required Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment services (including blood lead testing) and the managed care providers providing them.

  • CPSC asked to tighten lead standards for paint and children’s products

    Unleaded Kids joined 10 other organizations in asking the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to tighten its lead standards for new paint and children’s products.

  • New England Lead Conference: Invigorating Discussions Among Diverse Stakeholders

    What Happened? Unleaded Kids’ Tom Neltner joined about 200 people attending the in-person New England Regional Lead and Healthy Housing Conference on May 2–3, 2024, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It […]

  • Lead in Water: Indiana Allows Utilities to Replace LSLs without Landlord’s OK 

    Indiana’s legislature unanimously passed SEA-5 in March 2024, establishing steps by which drinking water utilities can replace customer-owned portions of lead service lines (LSL) without the owner’s consent. The provisions are designed to overcome what has become a major challenge facing utilities as they strive to eliminate LSLs in their service area in a cost-effective…

  • CDC sends mixed messages about sharing of key lead data

    Successfully reducing children’s exposure to lead requires collaboration between all stakeholders: private and public; health, environmental, and housing; and federal, state, and local. Collaboration is particularly important when it comes to sharing data that helps identify homes that have already exposed children to lead so that the causes and underlying issues can be addressed.

  • Lead in Food: Washington State Acts on Metal Cookware in Face of FDA Inaction

    A new Washington State law, passed unanimously by the legislature and signed by Governor Inslee, prohibits manufacturers from making, selling, offering for sale, or distributing for sale or use in the State, any metal cookware with a component containing more than five parts per million (ppm) of lead by the end of 2025.

  • Lead in Paint: Tenants Prompt EPA to Use RCRA to Clean Up Lead Dust in CT

    EPA ordered a property owner of an apartment complex in a renovated old factory in Connecticut to assess and clean up lead-based paint hazards after the agency determined the hazards “may present an imminent and substantial endangerment” to tenants. The agency acted pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as a backstop when…

  • Mapping Lead: Four States (OH, NJ, IN, and CA) Leading the Way

    State maps of lead hazards help people visually understand the risks for their state or their community. When they are interactive, they serve as useful means to access detailed information about those risks.

  • Lead in Paint: HUD Asks Congress to Allow Grants to be Awarded by Formula

    This is the first time HUD has proposed a formula approach, saying it will “allow more efficient distribution of funding to the highest need communities, streamline the selection and award of grants for communities facing large lead paint problems.” The balance will be competitive and “open to a broader range of States, Native American Tribes,…

  • Lead Outside the USA: USAID’s “Towards a Lead-Free Future”

    With a powerful speech in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power called for a global effort to eliminate toxic lead from consumer goods, stating that “[l]ead poisoning claims a staggering 1.6 million lives each year. That’s more than the deaths caused by malaria…

  • Congress cuts HUD’s lead hazard reduction grants by 31%

    Congress cut HUD’s FY24 appropriations for its Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Program by 31%, from $290 to $200 million for FY24…Making matters worse, Congress also took back $65 million appropriated in FY22 for this program that HUD had until September 30, 2024, to obligate by issuing grants to communities to clean up lead-based paint hazards.

  • Lead in Water: IRS Resolves Lingering LSL Replacement Question

    IRS concludes that “the replacement of lead service lines under the programs described above does not result in income to the residential property owners under § 61 of the Internal Revenue Code.” The property owners’ financial need is not a factor. 

  • Lead in Food: Be Cautious Pointing to Codex

    Codex’s standards have a global impact because they are referenced in a World Trade Organization agreement. Therefore, although Codex standards are voluntary, food and food ingredients traded between countries are expected to comply with Codex standards.

  • Mapping Lead: EPA Study Identifies Nation’s Hotspots

    EPA’s scientists, with support from colleagues at HUD and CDC, published an impressive study identifying the nation’s potential lead exposure hotspots that warrant a deeper analysis for targeting lead actions. The map below shows 30,208 census tracts identified as highest potential lead exposure risk locations based on one of five indexes and two statistical methods.

  • EPA’s 10-year review finds stronger evidence of harmful effects of lead

    EPA finalized its Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Lead last week, updating its 2013 version with evidence published in the past decade about the potential effects associated with exposure to lead. Based on the new evidence, the agency revised its 2013 findings of the connection between lead and specific harms.

  • Lead Paint: Rhode Island Summit Highlights New Laws & Backsliding on Registry

    Rhode Island held an impressive second annual Summit to End Childhood Lead Poisoning cosponsored by the state’s Attorney General and Department of Health. I was honored to be able to join about 200 people who participated in person on February 2.

  • Lead in Water: Our Comments on EPA’s Proposed Improvements to LCR

    If finalized as proposed, the rule should virtually eliminate the estimated 9.2 million lead service lines (LSLs) from our public water systems with the vast majority replaced by 2037. This would be a major achievement in the effort to reduce children’s and adult’s exposure to lead in drinking water. 

  • Lead in Food: Court of Appeals Doubts FDA’s Commitment to Standards

    FDA is already under pressure to move faster on its action levels for lead, cadmium, and arsenic under the leadership of its new Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods, Jim Jones. This court decision, along with the recall of applesauce pouches, should increase that pressure.

  • Lead in Water: Critical Ambiguity in EPA’s Proposed Lead and Copper Rule

    As Unleaded Kids was preparing to submit comments by the February 5 deadline, we noticed a critical problem with the EPA proposal that could undermine achievement of the Biden Administration’s goal of eliminating LSLs. The proposal leaves ambiguous whether the mandate to replace LSLs includes lines on private property.

  • Lead Telecom Cables: Battle Over Transparency in New York

    We think the public should know if lead-sheathed telecom cables are strung over their front yards, their neighborhood playgrounds, or their bus stops, or if they are in the streams where they swim or fish.

  • Lead in Soil: EPA Takes Important First Step to Tighten Limits

    The guidance, when fully implemented, should have a significant impact on cleanups where there are industrial and commercial sources of lead contamination, past or present.

  • Congress proposes deep cuts in funding to control lead hazards

    In an extraordinary move, the House Committee sought to take back $564.2 million in funds appropriated in previous years that HUD had not obligated by executing a grant or contract. This proposed rescission represents almost half of the total funding that Congress appropriated for the grants in the three prior years.

  • EPA asks to meet with telecom execs about lead cables

    The Wall Street Journal provided an update on its groundbreaking investigation indicating that lead pipes used for telecom cables are releasing lead into the environment. There are more than 66,000 miles of these lead telecom cables hanging from telephone poles or in lakes, rivers, and streams across the United States.

  • Lead in Baby Food and in Faucets—New Year Means Good News

    Beginning January 1, 2024, manufacturers of baby food or of drinking water faucets must comply with new requirements designed to reduce people’s exposure to lead. California’s legislature played a significant role making each happen. Let’s start with mandatory testing of baby food for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury and then turn to tighter lead leaching…

  • A New Organization—Unleaded Kids—Aims to Protect Children from Cumulative Impact of Lead from All Sources

    Only National Effort Focusing on All Sources of Lead (Washington, DC, December 21, 2023) The scientific consensus is clear: there is no safe level of exposure to lead. Children are […]