Settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against the EPA over standards relating to how lead paint is handled when it comes to remodeling. The agency has agreed to complete a long-delayed rule by March 31 requiring contractors remodeling older homes to take precautions to prevent the spread of poisonous lead dust, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lead paint was first banned in the United States way back in 1978. But removing it can be messy, tricky business, especially when it comes to old homes. The particles and paint chips can get into the air, settling out all over indoor spaces, where children, especially, end up slowly ingesting them. It's a problem that plagues pet owners as well.
Lead is well known to cause developmental problems in children, as well as impaired mental ability and behavior.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility had sued the EPA in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia in 2005, arguing that the agency has dragged its feel on issuing a ruling on renovation safety. The precautions said to be required include such procedures as sealing off areas and using equipment that avoids spreading lead-contaminated particles.
Despite all the news coverage of toxic lead paint in toys and other products in recent months, the biggest threat continues to come from particles in the home. The EPA's eventual ruling should help shore up the nation's long-running efforts to get the lead out.
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