Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump Plan to Protect Kids From Lead Falls Far Short

Health + Wellness
Trump Plan to Protect Kids From Lead Falls Far Short
sonsam / iStock / Getty Images

The long-awaited plan by the Trump administration to "wage a war against lead" and protect children from exposure to the potent neurotoxin is a woefully unacceptable response to this public health crisis, said Environmental Working Group.


The administration's Lead Action Plan—announced Wednesday by Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—is nothing but a series of broad and lofty goals, including reducing children's exposure to lead sources and communicating more effectively with stakeholders. It provides no details, enforcement deadlines or additional resources with which to achieve them.

"The goals laid out in the Trump administration's plan aren't worth the paper they're printed on," said EWG President Ken Cook. "If you're going to claim to be waging war against lead exposure among children, it will require a serious investment of money, enforcement and leadership from the top at both the White House and the EPA. Everything we know about where children's environmental health falls on the priority list of Andrew Wheeler and President Trump indicates it's near the bottom."

Earlier this year, Wheeler abruptly and with no reason dismissed the official at the agency in charge of children's health.

Dr. Ruth Etzel, a leader in children's environmental health for 30 years, was tapped in 2015 by President Obama to run the Office of Children's Health Protection, whose stated goal is to "ensure that all EPA actions and programs address the unique vulnerabilities of children."

In his first budget proposal, in 2017, President Trump pushed to cut $16.6 million and at least 70 staff from two EPA programs put in place to tackle lead exposure, including eliminating more than $14 million in grants to help states eradicate lead-based paint hazards in housing.

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less