With the recent string of natural disasters that have plagued the nation bringing countless clean up and repair efforts to these devastated cities and towns, a very real, new threat has been uncovered – lead-based paint.
This form of paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was eventually banned for residential use in 1978, and has been linked to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and behavioral problems in children. While lead paint is very detrimental to the development of young children, it can still have a very negative effect on adults, as well.
This article from Indoor Environment Connections goes into greater detail about this threat and what the United States Environmental Protection Agency plans to do to minimize lead exposure.
The EPA has issued a warning, urging children and pregnant women to stay away from work areas to avoid exposure to lead-contaminated dust, one of the most significant sources of lead exposure – especially for children. The EPA is also suggesting that workers take precautions, when working on construction surfaces, to prevent the spread of lead dust.
Common renovation efforts – like sanding, cutting, and demolition – can create hazardous lead dust and chips, which can be harmful to both children and adults. This threat is even more likely due to the fact that many of the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule requirements, which are put in place to lessen the spread of lead-based dust, do not apply because of the nature of the emergency clean up efforts. Other non-emergency renovation activities remain subject to the rule’s requirements.
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