[StBernard] Compliance and Enforcement News Release (Region 6): New Requirements to Protect Children from Lead-Based Paint Hazards

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Tue Apr 1 19:50:36 EDT 2008

New Requirements to Protect Children from Lead-Based Paint Hazards

(Washington, D.C. - March 31, 2008) To further protect children from
exposure to lead-based paint, EPA is issuing new rules for contractors who
renovate or repair housing, child-care facilities or schools built before
1978. Under the new rules, workers must follow lead-safe work practice
standards to reduce potential exposure to dangerous levels of lead during
renovation and repair activities.

"While there has been a dramatic decrease over the last two decades in the
number of children affected by lead-poisoning, EPA is continuing its efforts
to take on this preventable disease," said James Gulliford, EPA's Assistant
Administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "Today's new
rules will require contractors to be trained and to follow simple but
effective lead-safe work practices to protect children from dangerous levels
of lead."

The "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program" rule, which will take
effect in April 2010, prohibits work practices creating lead hazards.
Requirements under the rule include implementing lead-safe work practices
and certification and training for paid contractors and maintenance
professionals working in pre-1978 housing, child-care facilities and
schools. To foster adoption of the new measures, EPA will also conduct an
extensive education and outreach campaign to promote awareness of these new

The rule covers all rental housing and non-rental homes where children under
six and pregnant mothers reside. The new requirements apply to renovation,
repair or painting activities where more than six square feet of lead-based
paint is disturbed in a room or where 20 square feet of lead-based paint is
disturbed on the exterior. The affected contractors include builders,
painters, plumbers and electricians. Trained contractors must post warning
signs, restrict occupants from work areas, contain work areas to prevent
dust and debris from spreading, conduct a thorough cleanup, and verify that
cleanup was effective.

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and was banned
for residential use in 1978. Exposure to lead can result in health concerns
for both children and adults. Children under six years of age are most at
risk because their developing nervous systems are especially vulnerable to
lead's effects and because they are more likely to ingest lead due to their
more frequent hand-to-mouth behavior. Almost 38 million homes in the United
States contain some lead-based paint, and today's new requirements are key
components of a comprehensive effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.

For more information, including in Spanish, on EPA's lead program, or to
obtain copies of the rule and information on how to comply, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/lead <http://www.epa.gov/lead> For copies of the
educational brochures on this new program, call 1-800-424-LEAD [5323].


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