Richard Bogren | 5/8/2019 4:37:05 PM
(05/08/19) BATON ROUGE, La. — Despite the headlines and public awareness of lead poisoning from contaminated water supplies, lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 is actually a far more common source of lead poisoning.
The risk is especially high when home repairs and remodeling activities disturb lead paint and produce lead-contaminated dust and residue, said LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel.
All contractors who work on pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities are required by the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting rule to be certified and to use lead-safe work practices. As part of its healthy homes educational outreach, the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Resource Center will hold a Lead-Safe Certified Renovator training course on May 14.
“This is such a crucial program,” said Reichel, who is director of LaHouse. “Even very low levels of lead in young children can cause irreversible damage to developing brains and other organs.”
Lead exposure can lead to learning and behavior disorders, impaired hearing and other developmental health effects without any symptoms of poisoning that can happen from breathing lead dust in the air and ingesting lead dust on hands, Reichel said.
“Damage is irreversible, so that’s why all young children should be screened for lead poisoning, along with routine immunizations,” she said.
Lead-safe renovator certification of an individual is good for five years, and a firm must have at least one certified renovator to become certified and listed on the EPA website. Non-compliance with RRP puts a contractor at risk of substantial EPA penalties and liability in the event of lead poisoning.
“Of course, the most important reason to use lead-safe work practices is to protect children and workers from the serious health hazards of lead,” Reichel said.
After completing the one-day class, attendees may take the RRP certification exam on the same day. LaHouse is an approved trainer through EnviroEd, a nationwide EPA-accredited RRP training provider. The class also qualifies for CEUs for Louisiana residential contractors.
Course registration includes the course book, hands-on activities and exam. Participants who pass the exam will receive official EPA certificates from EnviroEd.
Registration, course fees and further information about the class, the RRP rule and additional requirements for firms to be certified are available at www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouse.
For additional questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture