Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
EPA helps remove more than 60,000 pounds of lead contamination from California homes
Removing lead paint from the home is one of the simplest, most cost-effective measures people can take to reduce their exposure to environmental contaminants.
Although the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) banned lead-based paint for residential use in 1978, 2.4 million homes in the Pacific Southwest may still contain lead-based paint hazards, more than 300,000 children are poisoned by lead each year.
Last week, the EPA proposed new requirements for contractors and construction professionals to reduce lead poisonings in children across the country. The EPA is proposing that contractors must be trained in the use of lead-safe work practices and follow protective work standards, which include verifying that cleanup was effective. The EPA will be accepting comments from the public on these proposed rules until the end of March.
The EPA's Pacific Southwest Office has helped reduce exposure to lead paint for thousands of families in California and throughout the West in the past several years.
Last year, workers removed lead contaminated materials from at least 1,000 homes in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas of California. This is equal to more than 2 million square feet of potentially harmful material.
Before removing lead-based paint from homes, workers must take special precautions to minimize any risks to human health. Anyone can learn how to handle these materials properly by taking classes from any EPA-certified training facility.
Since 1999, the EPA has been evaluating and certifying firms that teach workers how to remove lead from homes and buildings. The EPA oversees training firms, and enforces against any firms that have not obtained the proper accreditation.
Since 2000, EPA has helped remove 500,000 pounds, or 17 million square feet, of lead-based paint building materials from homes and buildings in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.
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