News Brief

High Lead Airborne Lead Levels Persist from Metal Processing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified 16 areas that have ambient lead levels above those set by the Clean Air Act. These areas, designated “nonattainment areas,” cover parts of counties in 11 states, including areas near Montgomery, Alabama; Dallas, Texas; and Cleveland, Ohio.

In the past, most airborne lead pollution came from emissions from vehicles using leaded gasoline; since lead was removed from gasoline sold in the U.S., most of these emissions come from metal processing, according to the nonprofit Clean Air Trust.

The nonattainment areas must craft plans to lower lead levels, and must meet Clean Air Act standards by December 2015. New industrial facilities planned for the nonattainment areas must also pass additional reviews to ensure that they will not add to ambient lead levels. More information is available at

Published December 9, 2010

Wendt, A. (2010, December 9). High Lead Airborne Lead Levels Persist from Metal Processing. Retrieved from

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