HUD is seeking comment on a proposed amendment to TheLead-Safe Housing Rule regarding the actions owners of federally-assisted housing must take when a child under six-years-old is identified as having a high blood lead level (BLL). The proposal also includes a revision of the terms "elevated blood lead level" and "environmental intervention blood lead level" that is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) position that that there is no "safe" level of lead for children.
Specifically, the new rule has called for property owners to undertake a series of actions, including inspections and hazard identifications once a resident child is found to have a 5 ug/dl BLL. The BLL threshold will be regularly revised as CDC has pegged its health advisory recommendations on declining lead exposures attached to observations of the 2.5 percent of BLLs in U.S. children aged 1-5. The proposed rule goes beyond current requirements in requiring a property-wide investigation if lead hazards are identified in the affected child’s apartment home.
The proposal expands reporting requirements to include HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes for properties with a child resident with elevated BLL. The proposed rule also calls on owners to address other sources of lead exposure beyond lead-based paint. The notice calls out "airborne emissions from housing activities conducted by the owner such as welding" as something that should be eliminated. HUD also "encourages" owners to address non housing-related sources of lead exposure ranging from "hazardous waste facility siting or industrial emissions.”
The various sources of lead exposure in the environment, including from municipal drinking water, continue to be an issue in many parts of the country.
NMHC/NAA will be submitting comments on the proposed amendment.
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