This is spectacular. It has been in the works for something 9 years! (Really much longer since the original research was done!) Kudos to the National Center for Healthy Housing for their hard work!
We are thrilled to share news that the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) issued guidance yesterday setting new dust lead action levels and clearance levels for its grantees. The guidance sets action levels of 10 ug/ft2 for floors and 100 ug/ft2 for windows sills. The same levels will serve as clearance levels on these surfaces. In addition, the guidance sets clearance levels of 100 ug/ft2 for window troughs and 40 ug/ft2 for porch floors. These levels are effective April 1, 2017.
This is a great victory for those families served by HUD LBPHC and LHRD grants. In 2009, NCHH and 12 other organizations petitioned EPA to lower the dust lead standards to 10 ug/ft2 on floors and 100 ug/ft2 on window sills based on research sponsored by OLHCHH that supported the need to reduce the current standards to be health protective. OLHCHH sponsored research also supports the feasibility of grantees routinely achieving the lower clearance levels. OLHCHH further determined that the EPA-recognized lead laboratories can accurately report results at these levels.
NCHH is pleased that a clearance level for porch floors has been established. Using research sponsored by HUD and conducted by NCHH in partnership with the City of Rochester, NY, OLHCHH determined that porch floors can be both a direct exposure source for children and a source of lead dust that can be tracked into the home. In addition to setting a clearance level of 40 ug/ft2 on porches, HUD encourages its grantees to try to attain a level below 10 ug/ft2.
We hope that HUD’s leadership in this area will inspire non-grantees to use these action levels and clearance levels voluntarily and will encourage other governmental bodies to establish these levels as standards in their communities. HUD OLHCHH must be applauded for these efforts to protect the health of our nation’s children.
Jonathan W. Wilson
Chief Financial Officer and Director of Research
National Center for Healthy Housing