Pediatrician Urges EPA to Lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead

By Miki Barnes, LCSW
March 25, 2015

Below is a link to a 3/22/15 letter authored and sent by Jim Lubischer, MD, to EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy in which he provides a compelling and well-articulated rationale for lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead.

Dr. Lubischer's letter includes the following salient points:

  • The current NAAQS of 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter does not provide adequate protection for all children, especially those living near airports and other industrial facilities that routinely emit lead.
  • The median estimated air-related IQ loss based on the current standard is between 1.5 and 3.4 IQ points. In 2005 the CDC recommended that "Ultimately, all nonessential uses of lead should be eliminated..."
  • "...any amount of lead in a fetus or child's body is likely deleterious..."
  • Exposing children to lead is an environmental justice issue.
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