The EPA announced that most areas around the nation are meeting air quality standards for lead. Unfortunately, Iowa’s Pottawattamie County was one of the few areas not to meet these standards.
Overall, 11 states and Puerto Rico had at least one area that exceeded the EPA’s limit.
The lead standards were strengthened ten-fold in 2008.
The EPA’s news release reports that the areas failing to meet the lead standards are obligated to enact changes:
Areas designated as not meeting the standards will need to develop plans within 18 months and implement them within five years to reduce pollution to meet the lead standards. No areas in Indian Country are being designated nonattainment.
Lead emitted into the air can be inhaled or can be ingested after it settles. Ingestion is the main route of human exposure. Children are the most susceptible because they are more likely to ingest lead, and their bodies are developing rapidly. There is no known safe level of lead in the body.