Thinking back on this year’s observation of National Lead Prevention Week, I’m proud of our continuing work to educate consumers and contractors about the dangers of lead paint.
We joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Look for the Logo” campaign during the annual lead safety awareness focus, which occurs every year during the last full week in October. However, this cooperative effort is only the latest in our company’s work to promote lead-safe work and hiring practices.
Since 1978, the federal government has banned residential use of lead-based paint. Still, such paint is estimated to remain on the walls of 40 percent of the nation’s housing stock. It’s crucial that everyone realize that any project that disturbs old paint – such as prep work for re-painting, remodeling or window installation – can create dust and debris a baby or child could inhale or ingest.
Exposure to even a tiny amount of lead can cause nervous system, kidney, hearing or other damage, as well as development problems. Children age 6 and younger are at special risk because they lack the developed blood-brain barrier that protects older children and adults from more severe effects.
Since 2010, the EPA has required that contractors whose work disturbs lead paint be trained and certified in proper safety techniques. But we know that not all contractors follow the rules. That’s why – whether you’re hiring for a project or planning to DIY the work – Angie’s L continues to stress the importance of knowing how to protect your loved ones.
This year, we’re promoting an EPA-sponsored outreach program to alert homeowners and remind professionals about lead paint. The materials are available on the Angie’s List and EPA websites.
I believe knowledge holds the power to prevent lead-paint poisoning. The more homeowners know, the more likely they’ll be to demand and be willing to pay for what it takes to remodel and repair without endangering children.
Graphic courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control