News Releases from Headquarters›Office of the Administrator (AO)
EPA Releases the Status Report for EPA Actions in Support of the December 2018 Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts
WASHINGTON (April 1, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Implementation Status Report for EPA Actions under the December 2018 Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts (Status Report). The Status Report describes EPA activities that are being conducted in support of the Lead Action Plan. Through the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, EPA continues to work with its federal partners to improve coordinated activities and implement objectives of the Lead Action Plan.
In December 2018 EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler made a commitment to develop an EPA implementation plan to enable EPA to track its progress and update the public on its work to carry out the Lead Action Plan.
“The Status Report delivers on our promise to hold ourselves accountable to the public and clearly communicate the steps we are taking to implement the Lead Action Plan,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Tracking the actions outlined in the Lead Action Plan will ensure we stay true to our commitments and take the necessary measures to protect children from lead exposure where they live, learn, and play.”
The Status Report outlines activities that EPA is conducting under the Lead Action Plan and highlights many areas where the Agency is collaborating with federal partners to meet goals of the Lead Action Plan. EPA intends to periodically post updates and accomplishments on https://www.epa.gov/leadactionplanimplementation.
The Trump Administration unveiled the Lead Action Plan on December 19, 2018, which was a product of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children (Task Force). The Task Force is the focal point for federal collaboration to promote and protect children’s environmental health. Established in 1997 by Executive Order 13045, the Task Force comprises of 17 federal departments and offices. Currently, the Task Force is co-chaired by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Since the 1970s, the United States has made tremendous progress in lowering children’s blood lead levels. Despite the overall decline of blood lead levels over time, lead remains a significant public health concern for some children because of persistent lead hazards in the environment. Lead exposure to children can result from multiple sources and can cause irreversible and life long health effects. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.
Tackling this problem in this era requires a coordinated federal-wide effort that evaluates the predominant sources of potential exposures and includes improving the identification and treatment of children that may be exposed to lead. This effort requires clear communication with parents and others regarding the risks and methods to reduce potential lead exposures, and a coordinated multi-agency research-plan as outlined in the Lead Action Plan.
The Lead Action Plan is a blueprint for reducing lead exposure and associated harms by working with a range of stakeholders, including states, tribes and local communities, along with businesses, property owners and parents.
The four goals of the Lead Action Plan are:
- Goal 1: Reduce Children’s Exposure to Lead Sources
- Goal 2: Identify Lead-Exposed Children and Improve their Health Outcomes
- Goal 3: Communicate More Effectively with Stakeholders
- Goal 4: Support and Conduct Critical Research to Inform Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposures and Related Health Risks
The Status Report outlines EPA’s commitment to work strategically and collaboratively on the Task Force to implement the Lead Action Plan, which promotes a vision where the United States will become a place where children, especially those in vulnerable communities, live, learn and play protected from the harmful effects of lead exposure.