Lead is now being reconsidered by the EPA for a drop in health standards. Lead is as poisonous as it was twenty-five years ago, yet due to a ninety percent drop of lead in the air, the Battery Council International is arguing that the pollutant should be taken off the list of regulated pollutants. Lead is linked to death and birth defects, and is still tested for in young children due to its harmful effects.
Originally in 1976, the ban on lead was asked for by the automobile manufacturers because the lead in gasoline damaged catalytic converters. While it is a possibility that lead could become added to gasoline again, as of yet there is no response from automobile manufacturers regarding this matter.
However, the Battery Council International, BCI, has contacted the EPA in a letter that states, “A more fundamental way to allow a more efficient use of Agency resources, however, would be to delete lead from the list of criteria pollutants.” In their letter, the BCI points out that the Center for Disease Control “maintains a close watch of the implications of new scientific evidence on lead’s health effects.” However, as one citizen points out, there is a big difference between watching a house burn and preventing the fire.
The letter from BCI to the EPA contains the four points that they feel is valuable in this decision. 1. The paperwork can be reduced from a criteria document, a staff report, and a regulatory proposal with preamble to a single background document. 2. There is currently an option to publish another policy assessment document. BCI feels that this option shouldn’t be an option and needs to be null and void. 3. BCI feels that it would be in the best interest if the public had more input. They back up this statement by asserting the 1,000 page detailed criteria document could be avoided in the future. 4. The public needs to know more clearly that their comments are being considered. It is the view of BCI that this is imperative in order for those outside of government to know that the decision making process is not a sham.
The EPA is taking comments from the public, and the Better World Club wants to help you get your response to the correct EPA office. The Better World Club provides a form with your choice of prewritten comments, or you can write your own. This service is free to everyone, whether you are a club member or not.
The public can also contact BCI at Dweinberg@WRF.com, to tell them exactly what they think about their pleas to the EPA to remove a ban on lead.