Tom Neltner, J.D., is Chemicals Policy Director
In early 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first committed to developing a level that would provide context for those trying to assess an infants’ risk from lead in their drinking water.
An infant’s developing brain is extremely vulnerable to lead. Many parents rely on formula made from drinking water to feed their children. So if that water contains lead, the child is likely to be harmed.
A “Household Action Level” would help parents and public health officials know when lead in the drinking water reaches a level likely to produce an “elevated blood lead level” in an infant who is fed formula. This information can help parents and communities make informed choices about how to protect their children.
So we were pleased to see Rep. Steve Israel’s (D-NY) tweet about EPA's response to his questions regarding the Household Action Level. As a member of the House subcommittee that funds the nation’s water programs, Israel asked the agency to provide an update on the agency’s efforts to release a Household Action Level for committee record.