"The Environmental Protection Agency has ignored many years of evidence of dangerous levels of lead paint in millions of Americans’ homes and must propose tighter standards within 90 days to protect children from lead exposure, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Lead-based paint was banned by federal law in 1978, but it remains on the walls of many homes built before then. It is particularly dangerous to children and has been described by the EPA in past years as “the No. 1 environmental threat in the U.S. for children ages 6 and younger.” A federal study found that 23.2 million homes had hazardous levels of lead paint in 2005-06, including 3.6 million homes with children younger than 6.
The agency set standards in 2001 for lead contamination levels in dust and soil at the homes, but has acknowledged since then that scientific research has shown the need for tougher restrictions. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said the current rules allow 50 percent of children in older homes to be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of lead."