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With its new Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, Delaware Makes Significant Commitment to Children’s Health

Release Date: 04/17/2014
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (April 17, 2014) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection announced that Delaware has become the first state in the Mid-Atlantic Region authorized by the EPA to administer and enforce the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Program, previously administered by the federal government.

Delaware joins 14 states nation-wide that have committed to administering the RRP Program, which was established in 2010.

The RRP program is designed to protect children and families from the risks posed by exposure to lead-based paint. Exposure to lead-based paint can cause a host of health problems in children including learning disabilities.

“Delaware is to be congratulated for this significant commitment to providing greater protection to children in our local communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This is an important step in our shared goal of protecting children from the hazards of lead-based paint,”

Nearly 50 percent of homes in Delaware were built prior to 1978, the year that lead-based paint was banned for residential use and routine repairs and renovations of older homes and child-occupied facilities are a major source of lead exposure for children.

“We wanted to take action to prevent lead exposure in children, rather than react when a lead-poisoned child is identified,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director, Delaware Division of Public Health. “Requiring renovators, property managers, electricians, plumbers and builders to use lead-safe work practices is a proven formula for reducing lead poisoning in children and workers.”
Anyone receiving compensation for renovating, repairing and painting work that disturbs painted surfaces in residences built before 1978 is subject to the RRP. Contractors must receive the necessary training and become certified from an EPA-accredited training provider and ensure that lead safe work practices are used throughout the project.

Firms and employees that disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces in interiors, and 20 square feet on the exterior must be trained by an accredited training provider and licensed by the Delaware Division of Public Health. Landlords who perform their own repairs fall under the definition of a firm and must be certified.

Lead poisoning is a preventable disease that can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and permanent brain damage in young children. Even low lead levels in blood have been shown to have adverse effects. Many renovation and remodeling work practices, such as sanding, scraping and demolition, can create hazardous lead dust, a common way that lead gets into the body.

Homeowners, tenants and child care facilities should ask to see a firm’s Renovation, Repair and Painting certification before signing contracts.

To locate lead-safe renovators near you or to learn more about protecting your home and family from the lead-based paint hazards go to: http://www2.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center at: 1-800-424-LEAD

For information on Delaware’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program and lead poisoning prevention go to: http://LeadSafeDelaware.org.