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Federal Regulation Will Require Renovators to Work Safely with Lead-Paint
Date:3/31/2008

Advocates Welcome Rule while Urging EPA to Fix Rule Flaws

WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Healthy Homes and the National Center for Healthy Housing praise the new EPA regulation as a step in the right direction in saving children, workers and occupants from exposure to unhealthy levels of lead during renovation, repair, and painting activities in homes and child-occupied buildings built before 1978. At the same time, they say the rule must be strengthened to adequately protect children.

The rule requires contractors who work in older homes and child-occupied facilities to take simple, low-cost precautions to avoid creating and spreading lead dust, and to clean up any dust that is generated. The rule also requires the firms or management companies that are disturbing lead paint to be certified and to have at least one employee who has completed a one-day lead-safe work practices training. Firms are responsible for providing "on- the-job" training for all other employees. Power sanding, open flame burning, and sandblasting of painted surfaces is prohibited by the rule.

Although recent attention has been focused on lead in toys, the vast majority of children with lead poisoning are exposed to lead from the old paint in their own home. Dust created by damaged paint is the primary route of exposure for children. EPA estimates that as many as 8 million renovations occur each year that could generate dangerous levels of lead dust -- which even in miniscule amounts can harm children.

"Congress instructed the EPA to address the dangers of disturbing lead paint during renovations in 1992. In the 16 years since we've been waiting for this rule, at least 17 million children have been exposed to harmful levels of lead unnecessarily, permanently losing IQ points as a result. The new regulation is an important first step towards preventing another generation from being poisoned by debris left behind after a remodeling j
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SOURCE National Center for Healthy Housing
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