Trump’s gutting of the EPA may eliminate programs protecting kids from lead poison

As details continue to emerge about President Trump’s proposed budget, an analysis by The Washington Post has revealed that a nearly $17 million reduction for programs to protect kids from lead poisoning from paint could be in the works. In a 2014 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 243,000 children had blood lead levels above the agency’s trigger level for action. (The CDC points out that even lower levels of lead exposure have been associated with permanent neurological damage and behavior disorders.) The current budget proposal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would eliminate the Lead Risk Reduction Program, which employs 70 people. With an estimated 38 million (mostly older) homes around the country containing lead-based paint, the EPA raises public awareness of this health hazard and trains workers in the safe removal of this neurotoxin. Shutting down this work means leaving responsibility to the states. But Trump would eliminate many state aid grants as well.

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