EPA Seeks Comment on Lead-Safe Work Practices

EPA has added two new lead dust studies to the rulemaking docket for the agency's proposed work practice standard to reduce exposures to lead hazards. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed standard until April 16.

Once the agency reviews the public comments, it will determine if any changes to the proposed rule are warranted.

The studies include one conducted by EPA – “Characterization of Dust Lead Levels after Renovation, Repair and Painting Activities” – and a second study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders – “Lead-Safe Work Practices Survey Project.”

EPA's study was designed to compare the amount of lead dust remaining after the use of the proposed lead-safe work practices and after cleanup with the amount of lead dust remaining after typical work practices. The National Association of Home Builders study was intended to assess whether routine renovation activities increase lead dust levels.

According to the agency, the EPA lead study also will be peer-reviewed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee this summer.

EPA Proposal Includes Training, Certification, Safe Work Practices

On Jan. 10, 2006, EPA proposed requirements to minimize the introduction of lead hazards resulting from the disturbance of lead-based paint during renovation, repair and painting activities in most housing built before 1978 (71 FR 1588). The proposal introduces lead training, certification and safe work practice requirements for contractors involved in these activities.

According to the agency, the proposal is one component of a comprehensive program to ensure the use of lead-safe work practices that also will include training and an education and outreach campaign targeted at both workers and consumers.

EPA says it believes that this new program will further its goal to eliminate childhood lead poisonings as a major public health concern by the year 2010.

For more information about the two new studies on lead-safe work practices visit EPA's Web site.

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