Proposal – Lead Paint Remediation in Dwellings
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Environmental Problem Statement
Lead is a toxic metal that may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk; 434,000 children in the United States, aged one to five, are estimated to have elevated blood-lead levels.1
Exposure to lead usually occurs because of the presence of deteriorating lead-based paint (LBP), lead-contaminated dust (particularly from renovations), and lead-contaminated residential soil. Apartments and homes with lead paint are frequently located in communities and transitional neighborhoods where attention to environmental problems may not be at the forefront and where controlling expense is critical. According to a national Department of Housing and Urban Development survey, 38 million homes have LBP and 24 million homes have significant lead hazards (i.e., lead in paint, dust, or soil).2
EPA Regions enforce the Residential LBP Disclosure Rule §1018 of Title X. For conducting LBP activities in target housing and child-occupied facilities, the regions and authorized states and tribes enforce the Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) §406(b), Pre-Renovation Education Rule, and TSCA §402, Training and Certification Rule.
There are issues of noncompliance for all of these rules. The lead hazards that may be created during renovation and remodeling are a major public health concern. About 26 million renovations are conducted annually in pre-1978 homes that contain LBP.3 Large amounts of lead dust are produced by most of these renovation activities; traditional cleaning methods often leave hazardous levels of lead dust.
Definition of the Technology Challenge
Early detection – the development of simple, inexpensive, and sufficiently reliable detection technologies that residents and owners can use to identify the presence of lead in paint, dust, and soil with respect to TSCA’s §403 definition of LBP hazards (§745.65). Specific interests include:
Abatement – the identification and development of efficient and cost-effective technologies for stabilizing or removing LBP while minimizing the creation of lead dust. Specific interests include:
Eliminating barriers to new and portable testing technologies – ensuring that new technologies and portable analytical instruments are incorporated in the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP) while ensuring that the standards are as protective and stringent as the standards that apply to fixed laboratories. This includes the development of reference materials for analysis and sampling methods for portable analytical instruments and new technologies, and exploring the possibility of lowering the NLLAP fees for portable analytical instruments. Work is currently underway by EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) to expand the NLLAP criteria to address the use of portable analytical systems for lead testing. To support this expansion, OPPT has submitted a proposal to EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) for assistance in the development of LBP proficiency test samples for new technologies, including portable analytical systems.
Other Guiding Principles
The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires agencies to report to Congress each year on progress toward their strategic goals. Under GPRA, agencies set annual performance goals and establish measures to determine how well they are achieving those goals. To that end, EPA’s Goal #4: Healthy Communities and Ecosystems4 guides this Action Team as it works to eliminate LBP as a hazard and eliminate all instances of children with elevated blood-lead levels.
The growing body of scientific information demonstrates that America’s children suffer more than adults from environmental health risks and safety risks. Each federal agency is required to identify, assess, and address the environmental health and safety risks to children. The President's 2000 Task Force was created and charged with recommending strategies for protecting children’s environmental health and safety. The following 2010 goals5 of the task force guide this Action Team:
Milestones, Actions, and Due Dates
A contractor to record the minutes for the Action Team meetings and keep an updated "To Do" list for the team.
Funding for the development of lead paint proficiency test samples for new technologies, including portable analytical systems. Request submitted to ORD.