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Cardin, Van Hollen Call on HUD to Improve Oversight of Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs

November 28th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD) joined Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with seven of their Senate colleagues, in sending a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) urging the agency to immediately improve its oversight of lead-based paint hazards in federally-assisted housing to ensure that families and children are protected from exposure to lead. The letter comes on the heels of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommending that HUD take immediate action to improve all of its protocols for identifying and remediating the presence of lead-based paint hazards in federally-assisted housing. While we have made important progress on this issue, over 2,000 Maryland children were poisoned by lead in 2017.

“While we appreciate HUD’s recent efforts to adopt a lower blood lead level threshold equivalent to the CDC’s standard for lead exposure in children that requires action, the GAO report makes clear that HUD should improve virtually all of its protocols for identifying and remediating the presence of lead-based paint hazards in federally-assisted housing,” the Senators wrote. “Given the overwhelming evidence of the dire long-term health and financial costs associated with lead poisoning, we urge HUD to take immediate action to implement the recommendations outlined in the GAO report.”

Joining the Senators on the letter were U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Patty Murray (D-WA).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lead-based paint hazards, such as dust containing lead and chips from deteriorated lead-based paint, are the most common source of lead exposure for U.S. children.  A 2011 HUD survey found that lead-based paint is in roughly 37 million U.S. homes, of which 93 percent were built before 1978––the year lead-based paint use in housing was banned in the United States.

 

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