This week being National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, we bring you new rules that affect the inspection and testing of lead-based paint. As you know, regulations have been in place for decades, however it wasn’t until recently that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services – Health Hazard Control Unit began implementing new rules regarding definitions and sampling methodology.
Some of the highlights of these new rules are:
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has eliminated the use of “blood lead level of concern” as it has determined there is no safe blood lead level.
- Methodology now requires additional sampling locations for both XRF and wipe samples.
- Ceramic tiles and porcelain bathtubs are no longer considered to be lead-based paint
- Several additional forms must be completed depending on whether or not the project is an initial inspection or risk assessment or if it is for clearance sampling.
Lead Poisoning in Children
Young children are most susceptible to lead poisoning as they are most likely to put lead-contaminated toys or paint chips in their mouths. According to the CDC, while lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, approximately half a million children in the United States are affected. Therefore it is imperative that parents and the environmental consulting community come together to reduce a child’s exposure to lead and prevent its serious health effects.
EI cares deeply about lead poisoning prevention and has taken steps to safeguard and educate children and their families. Over the past decade, our company has had the privilege to provide comprehensive lead-based paint testing to two remarkable charity organizations.
The mission of Builders of Hope in Raleigh, North Carolina is to increase the availability of high-quality, safe, affordable housing options and revitalize low-income, at-risk communities. These homes are donated and EI is then brought on-site to conduct lead-based paint inspections to assess the condition of the home and whether any renovations are required prior to rehabilitation. Typically, a lead paint assessment utilizes an XRF machine to assess deteriorated painted surfaces. EI also performs risk assessments in conjunction with the assessment to ascertain if any lead dust that may be present in the home.
Rebuilding Together is a national non-profit organization focused on assisting the disabled, elderly and low-income families with repairs to their homes. The charity was founded on the belief that everyone has the right to live in a warm, safe, dry and accessible home. When the disabled, elderly or low-income families can no longer maintain or repair their home. Since 2008, EI has provided these families with asbestos and lead-based paint inspections to ensure the safety of their rebuilt homes. EI has donated numerous lead and asbestos inspections as well as lead safety oversight services to home revitalization projects. EI has also provided training courses to Rebuilding Together employees and volunteers so that they too are equipped with the knowledge and experience to safely work on homes with asbestos containing materials and lead-based paint.
“We have relied on EI to provide us with environmental testing and related services for several years. Working with EI has always been a pleasure. They have done a wonderful job for us and have assisted us greatly in our work to repair and renovate the homes of low income, elderly and disabled homeowners,” remarked Ed Murray, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together – Roanoke.
In addition to providing lead-based paint inspections to these amazing organizations, EI has also hosted free lead screening for toys during the holiday season. This has been in response to massive recalls of toys, many of which are manufactured overseas. In addition, EI teamed with Growing Child Pediatrics, PA to offer free blood lead testing for children under the age of 6 at these events. A local laboratory that specializes in lead analysis was in attendance during the screening for parents who desired to have more detailed testing performed.