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Connecticut Hardware Stores Team Up On Health Campaign to Fight Lead Poisoning

Release Date: 03/23/2001
Contact Information: Laura Whittaker, Keep It Clean Campaign (617-636-2431) Mark Aschenbach, Connecticut Department of Health (860-509-7392)

BOSTON - Nearly 200 paint and hardware stores across New England, including 130 in Connecticut, have teamed up with the Tufts University Keep It Clean Campaign to educate families about lead-safe renovation.

"Hardware stores are a great place to reach people before they begin spring home improvement projects and teach them about safe renovation techniques if they have old lead paint in their home," said Laura Whittaker, coordinator of the Keep It Clean Campaign, which is part of the New England Lead Coordinating Committee based at Tufts University.

Although banned from paint in 1978, lead-based paint continues to be prevalent in many New England homes and apartment buildings, especially in urban areas where housing stocks tend to be older.

"Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major public health threat in New England," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office, which is helping to fund the campaign. "The Keep It Clean Campaign is a great consumer effort to remind do-it-yourselfers of the lead risks that are out there and how they can be avoided."

"Many homeowners and parents don't realize their home improvement projects may disturb old layers of lead paint," Whittaker added. "This can create lead dust, the most common source of lead poisoning, especially for children. All it takes is as much lead dust equal to the amount of sugar found in a sugar packet to poison a child. And since the lead dust is so small you can't see it, many homeowners don't realize they have created a problem."

In Connecticut, 3.1 percent of children under the age of six have elevated lead levels in their blood. Elevated blood lead levels for children living in urban areas is substantially higher, in some cities running as high as 10 percent.

Children under the age of six and pregnant women are most vulnerable to lead. Even adults doing the work can get lead poisoning, so it's smart for everyone to take precautions.

The Keep It Clean Campaign promotes easy and inexpensive lead-safe renovation solutions that any homeowner can use. Some simple methods, such as misting surfaces before sanding, containing the work area and careful clean-up, can make a dramatic difference in reducing the risk of lead poisoning.

Participating hardware stores have trained employees to answer questions about lead-safe renovations and have additional information. Among the stores participating in Connecticut are:

Alexander's Hardware, Inc., Ansonia, CT, 203-734-7868
Branford Building Supplies, Branford, CT, 203-488-2518
Branford Paint Center, Branford, CT, 203-488-2774
Country Paint and Hardware, North Branford, CT, 203-481-5255
Richlin Home and Auto, Branford, CT, 203-481-8081
Route 80 Lumber, Inc., North Branford, CT, 203-483-9800
Sherwin Williams, Branford, CT, 203-488-1236
Hope Plumbing and Hardware, Colchester, CT, 860-537-3046
Browning & Lee, Colchester, CT, 860-537-6860
Deep River Hardware Company, Deep River, CT, 860-526-2776
Housatonic Lumber, Derby, CT, 203-734-1611
Goody's Hardware and Paint, East Haven, CT, 203-469-5335

American Paint and Decorating, Glastonbury, CT, 860-633-9493
Clark Paint, Glastonbury, CT, 860-633-4627
Glastonbury Hardware, Glastonbury, CT, 860-633-9478
Katz Ace Hardware, Glastonbury, CT, 860-633-3551
Goshen Hardware, Goshen, CT, 860-491-3087
Anthony's Ace Hardware, Jewett City, CT, 860-376-9001
Sherwin Williams, Groton, CT, 860-445-1011
Wal-Mart #2200, Groton, CT, 860-448-2022

Conyer's True Value Hardware, Manchester, CT, 860-646-5707
Hardy's True Value, Manchester, CT, 860-649-5335
ICI Dulux, Manchester, CT, 860-646-5844
Manchester Hardware, Manchester, CT, 860-643-4425
Manchester Wallpaper, Manchester, CT, 860-646-0143
Paul's Paints, Manchester, CT, 860-649-0300

Brandman's Paint Warehouse, New Haven, CT, 203-562-5173
Bunnell Paint and Hardware, New Haven, CT, 203-777-2537
Frank's Paint and Hardware Store, New Haven, CT, 203-777-5461
Grand Paint, New Haven, CT, 203-562-5601
Hull's Hardware, New Haven, CT, 203-865-4319
A&M True Value, Portland, CT, 860-342-4847

Seymour Lumber & Supply Company, Seymour, CT, 203-888-2549
Huntington Home & Garden Center, Shelton, CT, 203-929-5800
Huntington Paint and Wallpaper, Shelton, CT, 203-929-1322
Hart Building and Roofing Supplies, Torrington, CT, 860-482-1000
Bronson's Pools Spas and Hardware, Voluntown, CT, 860-376-0605

The campaign was launched this month and goes until the end of June.

For a list of the stores participating in the program, visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health Keep It Clean website at For more information on lead exposure, visit EPA New England's web site at