News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA selects Alameda County’s Healthy Homes Department for lead training grant
Funds will help build awareness and lead safety knowledge for code enforcement officers state-wide
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department (ACHDD) for Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) trainings. Local code enforcement officers will learn how to incorporate lead safety requirements into their inspections, respond to unsafe renovation complaints and improve compliance with lead-safety regulations.
“Training local code enforcement officers is a critical way to keep residents and workers safe during projects that often create hazardous lead dust,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These trainings will help communities across California --especially in places with older housing stock.”
ACHHD, working with the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers (CACEO), will provide at least three RRP training courses to 120 code enforcement officers in different regions across the state. The first training course will be offered at the CACEO annual meeting in Seaside, Calif., on October 12. All classes are free to participants.
“Early detection of elevated blood lead levels is extremely important, but we must also take a more proactive position to identify and remediate lead sources before children are poisoned,” said Alameda County Healthy Homes Department Director Larry Brooks. “Our best line of defense for preventing these unfortunate and devastating situations from occurring is code enforcement and that is why this partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers is so important.”
As part of Children’s Health Month, EPA is reinforcing its commitment to reduce childhood lead exposure. Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects and is particularly dangerous for children under the age of 6 because their nervous systems are still developing. Lead exposure can cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. Children can be checked for lead with a simple blood test. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.
The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule was created to protect the public from lead paint hazards occurring during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. The rule requires individuals performing renovations be properly trained, certified and follow lead-safe work practices.
More information about EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program can be found at: www.epa.gov/getleadsafe.
To coincide with Child Health Day 2018, EPA developed a new report highlighting major initiatives related to children’s health and healthy learning environments. Find the report here/attached: https://www.epa.gov/children/protecting-childrens-health-booklet.
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