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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

EPA lowers limits for lead in air

October 17, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Three decades after removing lead from gasoline, the Environmental Protection Agency is slashing the amount of the toxic metal that will be allowed in the nation's air by 90%.

EPA officials, under a federal court order to set a new standard by midnight Wednesday, said the limit would better protect public health, especially for children. Exposure to even low levels of lead early in life can affect learning, IQ and memory. In adults, lead can cause cardiovascular, blood pressure and kidney problems.

The new limit, the first update since 1978, is a tenth of the old standard.

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