Toxic Substances:

Federal Programs Do Not Fully Address Some Lead Exposure Issues

RCED-92-186: Published: May 15, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the overall federal strategy for reducing lead exposure and eliminating lead poisoning.

GAO found that: (1) although federal activities to reduce childhood lead poisoning are extensive, they do not fully implement the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recommendations; (2) federal activities include enforcing environmental standards to prevent lead pollution, undertaking research programs, and providing financial assistance to identify and remove lead hazards; (3) existing federal programs do not constitute the coordinated national approach that CDC envisioned for identifying lead-poisoned children; (4) CDC administers a grant program to provide funds for lead testing, but funding is limited and CDC targets the funds geographically; (5) other federal programs also provide funds that can be used for lead screening; (6) the Department of Housing and Urban Development funds a number of programs that can include residential lead-based paint abatement and relocation assistance; (7) there are no federal programs to provide assistance for abatement in schools or to remove or treat lead-contaminated soil; and (8) 47 states have state or local lead poisoning programs, although the nature and extent of their prevention activities varies widely.

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