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Environment Matters Audio Podcast

Environment Matters
EPA Region 3
Topic: National Lead Poison Prevention Week 2011
Size: : 3,681k
Time: 03:56

Date: October 27, 2011

Mike Frankel: Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:
• Get your home tested if you live in a home built before 1978.
• Get children under 6 years of age ask your doctor to test their blood levels for lead.   

[Opening music]

Host: That was Mike Frankel with EPA's Land and Chemicals program, and welcome to Environment Matters, our series of podcasts.

Mike Frankel: To raise awareness of lead poisoning in children, each year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week during October.

Even low levels of exposure to lead can cause a host of developmental effects such as learning disabilities, decreased intelligence, speech and language problems, and even behavioral problems, which can affect a child for a lifetime. Which is why EPA has introduced a series of regulations to inform and protect families from the hazards of exposure to lead.

Beginning in 1978, lead-based paint was banned for residential use.  If your home was built before 1978, lead still may be present.  The most common household source of lead exposure is through deteriorating lead-based paint and the dust that it creates.  

Recognizing that families have a right to know about lead-based paint and about potential lead hazards in their homes, EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development developed the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule which went into effect in 1996.

Since then the Disclosure Rule requires that both the owners of rental properties and the people selling residential property built before 1978 must disclose known information about lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before a sale or lease are executed.  Sales contracts and leases now must include a disclosure form which informs you about lead-based paint.

To further protect your family, EPA's Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule, or RRP, became effective on April 22, 2010. 

Under the RRP, anyone paid to work on residences built before 1978 and/or facilities where children under the age of 6 are regularly present (such as daycare centers, schools, clinics)—well, they're required to be " Lead Safe Certified " by EPA and trained to follow specific Lead-Safe work practices and provide the EPA publication "Renovate Right" to owners and/or residents prior to when work begins.

The rule does not apply to individuals doing work on their own personal home or residence.  However, EPA does recommend that lead-safe work practices be used by individual homeowners whenever possible.

Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family: Get your home tested for lead if you live in a home built before 1978 and if you have children under 6 years of age, ask your doctor to test their blood levels for lead. 

[Closing music]

To find more information, go to leadfreekids.org.  And for more information on protecting your home and family from exposure to lead, and to find or become a "Certified Lead-Safe Firm," go to: www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD. That's 1-800-424-5323.

I'm Mike Frankel. Thanks for joining us on Environment Matters. Keep your kids lead safe.

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