New Lead Regulations Take Effect In April

New <"">lead regulations—The Renovation, Repair, & Painting (RRP) Rule—go into effect in the next few months, WICZ just announced. The RRP Rule requires certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and becomes effective April 22, 2010.

The federal law requires that those hired to repair paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools constructed prior to 1978 must be certified by the EPA under the new RRP Rule, said WICX. The new mandates, said WICX, are being implemented to protect children from lead-contaminated dust that can be released when lead-based paint is disrupted.

Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. In children and fetuses, lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems. Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. Experts agree that there is no safe level of lead.

Those most involved in renovations, or most affected by renovations, such as home and property owners, organizations that provide care to children, contractors, and realtors should understand that EPA RRP certification is required as of April 22, 2010, said WICX. RRP-certified renovation firms must conduct work and renovators must have undergone EPA RRP accredited training, added WICX. Also, lead-safe work practice standards must be employed to ensure lead contamination does not occur, added WICX.

Lead poisoning is considered the greatest environmental health threat to children under the age of six. Poisoning occurs from swallowing lead, for instance from consuming lead paint chips; lead poisoning also occurs from breathing lead paint dust. Even small amounts of chipped lead paint or lead dust can be dangerous to children. Most noteworthy, children under the age of six face these great risks because their growing bodies absorb lead more easily than adult bodies do.

Millions of American children are affected by lead poisoning and those children who live in old, poorly maintained housing or in housing that has undergone renovation face the greatest risk. Children exposed to flaking or peeling paint chips face the greatest risk of lead disease. According to WICX, in 2007 in New York State, 14 percent of all children who were tested with increased blood lead levels were apparently contaminated due to home renovations.

We have long written about the dangers from lead poisoning and have also long stressed that, once poisoned by lead, no organ system is immune, particularly the developing brain because negative influences can have long-lasting effects and can continue well into puberty and beyond. Most recently we wrote that a study recently revealed that childhood exposure to lead can lead to permanent brain damage.

Lead Remodelers and Renovators Certification & Refresher Course information can be accessed on the EPA’s Web site at or by contacting Environmental Educational Associates at its Website at or directly by telephone at 1-585-753-5087.

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