U.S. Government Tightens Restrictions on Lead (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The U.S. government lowered its standards for the amount of lead allowed in the air and banned solder that contained lead.
Summary of Event
In 1986, continuing a trend developed with the many air-quality acts of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the U.S. government set stricter standards for the amount of lead permitted in the air. At the same time, responding to extensive evidence of the harm associated with lead in paint, the government banned all lead in common solder.
By the late 1960’s, the dangers of lead in paint had become apparent to environmentalists. Children who ate or licked paint chips containing lead from their house walls"behavior most common in children in slum areas, where older, dilapidated walls often had cracked paint"succumbed to lead poisoning. Some estimates placed the number of children suffering from paint-related lead poisoning at 225,000. Several cities thereupon enacted ordinances against painting interior surfaces of a building with lead-based paint.
Other efforts to regulate the amount of lead in the environment included the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, which required minimum safety standards for every community water supply and regulated contaminants such as lead. But not until Herbert Needleman released his influential study, which showed a correlation between lead levels in children’s blood and their IQ test scores, in 1979, did a more active...
(The entire section is 2001 words.)
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