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Agencies Issue Plan To Combat Lead Poisoning

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The toxic metal is estimated to be present in the blood of more than 3 million children under age 6 at levels that could cause physical and mental damage.

Drawing on the resources of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Administration's strategy consists of several initiatives in each agency over the next several months.

Emphasis on Paint

The plan emphasizes protecting children from exposure to leadbased paint--which H.U.D. estimates is present in 10 million residences housing children under age 7--by assisting families in ridding the paint from their homes and expanding lead-poisoning prevention programs.

In addition, the E.P.A. will look at decreasing the level of lead allowed in drinking water, further restricting the use of plumbing products containing lead, encouraging recycling of lead-acid batteries, and reviewing national standards for lead in air.

It also will conduct studies of lead contamination in soil to identify regions with high concentrations of the substance.--M.P.

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