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Housing boss proposes lowering kids' acceptable lead level

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The nation's top housing official is proposing lowering the level of lead that must be detected in children's blood before triggering federal action to clean up the homes where they live.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro made the announcement Wednesday after touring Rhode Island homes where lead paint hazards were cleaned up using federal funds.

Lead exposure can cause learning disabilities in children. The proposal would reduce the level that triggers an environmental investigation of a home from 20 micrograms per deciliter of blood to five.

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