- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Public health advocates and lawmakers say Maine needs to move quicker to implement stricter lead poisoning standards that became law last year.

The change calls for Maine to match the federal blood-level standard for lead poisoning of 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. The current standard in the state is 15 micrograms per deciliter.

The Sun Journal (https://bit.ly/1PStJaP ) reports advocates say the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, should motivate Maine to act faster. Greg Payne of Maine Affordable Housing Coalition says he hoped the state would have moved more quickly to implement the state-level changes.

The latest data say there were 169 children with blood-lead levels between 5 and 9 micrograms per deciliter in Maine in 2013.

A state spokesman says Maine is working on implementing the new standards.

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