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EPA considers dropping landmark lead restrictions

Friday, December 8, 2006

Battery makers and lead smelters have been lobbying the Bush administration to roll back standards that keep lead out of gasoline and their efforts may prove successful for industry, that is. According to a statement released by the EPA earlier this week, the agency is considering dropping the lead limits in light of " the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant. Yes, the success of the lead regulations--which according to the EPA have cut airborne lead levels by 90% in two in a half decades may be the excuse for their termination.

California Rep. Henry Waxman has spoken out against this measure, demanding that the agency scrap the proposal immediately. Lead, which causes nerve damage and neurotic disorders, particularly in children, is one of six air pollutants the EPA must review every year to ensure stringent enough health protections. The others are ozone, soot, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides.

Link to the Wall Street Journal article (subscription only)