News Releases from Region 05

07/16/2019

For Immediate Release No. 19-OPA051

EPA and Ohio promote lead-safe homes and facilities for children in Lorain County, Ohio

CHICAGO (July 16, 2019)– This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with the Ohio Department of Health and the Lorain County Health Department to educate the public on how to protect children from lead-based paint risks.

“Together with the state of Ohio and Lorain County, EPA wants to make sure that people know how to keep children safe from the harmful effects of indoor lead,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Lead from deteriorated lead-based paint – typically found in older housing stock – is a primary exposure pathway for children.”

EPA will contact around 500 home renovation contractors, property managers and childcare providers to share up-to-date information on the lead reduction requirements in the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. A drop in the number of RRP certifications and re-certifications suggest a portion of the renovation industry is unaware of the RRP rule or does not comply.

The federal RRP rule is designed to prevent children’s exposure to lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 structures. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure that can cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment and behavioral problems.

“There is no safe blood lead level in children,” said Gene Phillips, chief of ODH’s Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection. “This is why reducing children’s exposure to the hazards of lead-based paint is a priority for the Ohio Department of Health.”

Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA. In December 2018, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and other Federal Officials released the Lead Action Plan, a blueprint for reducing lead exposure and associated harms by working with a range of stakeholders, including states, tribes, local communities, businesses, property owners and parents. On June 21, Administrator Wheeler and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, announced new, tighter standards for lead in dust on floors and window sills to protect children from the harmful effects of lead exposure.

Learn more about the lead-based paint program: https://www.epa.gov/lead.

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