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Lead in Air


December 19, 2014 - After carefully reviewing the most recent available scientific evidence, and consulting with the Agency’s independent science advisors, EPA is proposing to retain, without revision, the national ambient air quality standards for lead.
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Lead (Pb) is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products.  The major sources of lead emissions have historically been from fuels in on-road motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources.  As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts to remove lead from on-road motor vehicle gasoline, emissions of lead from the transportation sector dramatically declined by 95 percent between 1980 and 1999, and levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999. Today, the highest levels of lead in air are usually found near lead smelters. The major sources of lead emissions to the air today are ore and metals processing and piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded aviation gasoline.

For more information about lead:

Basic Information - Basics about lead air pollution.

Health - Effects of lead air pollution.

Lead Standards - Links to technical information related to setting the national air quality standards for lead.

Lead Designations - Regional, state and local information related to lead nonattainment.

Lead Implementation - Programs and requirements for reducing lead air pollution.

Regulatory Actions - Links to proposed and final rules, fact sheets, and other rulemaking documents.

Nonattainment Areas - Status of nonattainment areas (the Green Book)

Air Quality Trends - Progress made in reducing lead in the air.

Air Emission Sources - Summarizes lead air emissions by source at national, state and local levels.

Related Links - Other information related to lead pollution.

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