Air Quality: EPA's Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs)
Lead is a highly toxic metal known to damage the brain, nerves, kidneys, heart, and other organs. Exposure to lead can also causes seizures, mental retardation, behavioral disorders, memory problems, mood changes, learning disorders and lowered IQ.
Since the 1980's, EPA and its federal partners have phased out lead in gasoline, reduced lead in drinking water and in industrial air pollution, and banned or limited lead used in consumer products such as residential paint. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts, levels of lead in the air have decreased by 94% between 1980 and 1999. The amount of lead in people's blood has also decreased significantly in recent years: a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported a 78% decrease in the levels of lead in people's blood between 1976 and 1991.
EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment periodically evaluates the latest research concerning the public health and welfare effects of lead and publishes the most up-to-date findings in an assessment called an "Integrated Science Assessment." EPA has recently announced the release of the Third External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment of Lead (Nov 2012) which is now under public review and comment, but the final assessment is still the Air Quality Criteria Document for Lead (Final, 2006) . This document provides the scientific basis for the establishment of the most current national air quality standards for lead. [See the history of Lead for more detailed information]
[Update]The CASAC Lead Review Panel has announced the public review meeting for the 3rd External Review Draft by Federal Register Notice to be held Feb 5 & 6, 2013.
- Basic Information about lead in the air
- Information about lead in paint, dust, and soil
- Lead research at EPA
- Lead regulations
- National Lead Air Quality Forecasts
- Clean Air Act