EPA announces revision to air quality lead standard - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

EPA announces revision to air quality lead standard

by Seth Bohnker

URBANDALE (KWWL) - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a more stringent air quality lead standard. The new standard is 10 times more stringent than the previous standard: 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m3); the previous standard was 1.5 mg/m3.

The EPA also changed the calculation method to a more stringent three-month rolling average form which counts every exceedance.

Revising the standard will improve health protection for at-risk groups, especially children. More than 6,000 new studies on lead health effects, environmental effects and lead in the air have been published since 1990. Evidence from health studies shows that adverse effects occur at much lower levels of lead in blood than previously thought.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will establish a new lead ambient air monitoring network to measure Iowa's lead exposures compared to the new standard. The DNR is in the process of reviewing recent emission inventory reports for lead emissions to determine where ambient air quality monitors would be required under EPA's rule. Facilities with emissions above or near the threshold specified in the rule may be contacted by the DNR for additional information.

Online Producer: Seth Bohnker

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