In response to a petition for administrative rulemaking filed by the Center for Environmental Health, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has announced its intention to update the existing maximum allowable dose level (MADL) for lead. The agency will post a notice for hearing on the petition on October 9, 2015, in Sacramento.

In particular, the petition claims that the current MADL for lead—0.5 micrograms per day—“is too high to protect Californians from the well-established reproductive effects of lead that do and can occur at levels below 500 micrograms per day.” Faulting the courts for allowing defendants in enforcement actions “to average lead exposures over time,” CEH also alleges that the existing regulation “has been interpreted to allow lead exposures of up to 7 micrograms a day.” Based on the evidence provided in its petition, the organization has asked OEHHA to repeal or amend existing regulations “to establish a level that is protective of public health and compliant with Proposition 65.”