Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

EPA ironically battles with toxic lead contamination

April 16, 2010
WASHINGTON — In an ironic twist just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts the finishing touches on its toxic lead regulation, a dangerous lead contamination is being cleaned up at the EPA headquarters, according to the Daily Caller.
Dust samples recently taken from the Ariel Rios headquarters show lead levels that are at least 92,500 percent higher than the acceptable levels on which the new regulation is being based, the story stated.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for the lead cleanup and subsequent air quality tests to prove the risks from contamination have been lessened, the story noted.
According to the story, many EPA employees are outraged that the agency tasked with developing a toxic lead standard to keep the populace safe is struggling with its own toxic lead problem at its headquarters.
John O''Grady, treasurer of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), said: "I''m shocked. We''re the EPA — who''s supposed to be the agency that regulates lead. Apparently, they were asking people to move that had contamination on their workspace and they had those people package up the material themselves. So, in other words, they were exposing themselves and others to the lead dust that had been defined as being there. If it was that bad that the Ben Franklin Post Office left the building, then why were EPA employees still there?"
According to the article, it is assumed that the source of the lead contamination is a basement shooting range used by the U.S. Secret Service.
Toxic lead levels were found to be the highest in the custodial closet, which is located in the basement next to the shooting range, the story added.
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