Officials at the Maine Center for Disease Control this week expressed concern that the state’s new tightening of lead standards “isn’t being implemented at all.” Responding to more than 1,300 children in Maine have been found to have high levels of lead in their blood, this legislation was past seven months ago. The legislation lowered the threshold of acceptable lead exposure from 15 micrograms per deciliter to 5, which matches the federal threshold.

However, supporters of the standards say little progress has been made to address the crisis. Greg Payne of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, told Maine Public Radio that the new threshold hasn’t been implemented at all. Payne said, "The inspectors haven’t been contracted, the new staff — they have not started hiring them. No progress has been made.”

If there’s any question lead poisoning represents an imminent threat to public health, Payne says look no further than Flint, Michigan, where thousands of children have been poisoned from lead water pipes. Rotundo shares a similar view. 'This is a huge public health issue,' she says. 'If we have learned one thing from Flint and the tragedy there, it’s the importance of doing everything we can to protect children from lead poisoning.'
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