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“Under President Bush's leadership, we are addressing one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our most vulnerable residents: childhood lead poisoning,'” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. “Today's action brings us one step closer to ensuring that our nation's children are safe and healthy.”
Lead from paint is known to have the potential to cause health problems from cognitive impairments to learning disabilities, to seizures and even death. Lead was used as an additive for many years in paints and is now prohibited. Younger children are higher risks because their nervous systems are still developing and they are more apt to place their hands and fingers in their mouths.
The proposal requires all persons who do renovation for compensation - including renovation contractors, maintenance workers in multi-family housing, painters and other specialty trades - to be trained and certified in the use of lead-safe work practices. Trainers must be certified to provide such services. Work practices would include posting warning signs, restricting occupants from work areas, arranging work areas to prevent dust and debris from spreading, conducting a thorough cleanup and verifying the cleanup was effective.
This proposal is one component of a comprehensive program that will also include training, and an education and outreach campaign to promote lead-safe work practices. The EPA will accept public comment for 90 days following publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. For more information or to obtain copies of the proposal and supporting materials, visit www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm