Lead Paint Removal >> Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas

(ATLANTA – May 26, 2010) – Due to recent flooding in western and central Tennessee, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Region 4 wants to ensure that families are not at increased risk for lead poisoning, because of clean up and/or repair work. EPA urges pregnant women and children to keep away from work that could disturb lead-based paint and that those working on potential lead-based paint surfaces take Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas precautions to prevent the spread of lead dust. 

Lead dust may pose a hazard to children and pregnant women during flood clean up. Lead contaminated dust is the most significant source of lead exposure for children. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. 

Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, development delays and behavioral problems in young children. The Renovation, Repair, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas and Painting Rule (RRP) requires that workers disturbing lead-based paint be trained and certified, notify residents of the lead dust hazard, and follow lead safe work practices, in order to reduce exposure to lead dust. 

Because of the emergency nature of the flood work, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas EPA has issued guidance that the RRP rule emergency provisions will be in effect until June 30, 2010. Work covered under the RRP rule on flood damaged housing will not require advance notice or trained renovators to remove materials from homes. 

Volunteer workers, who do not receive compensation for work, are not required to be certified, but should educate themselves about lead-safe work practices, so as not to inadvertently cause hazards for themselves or other family members. The RRP program mandates that contractors, property managers and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas others working for compensation, in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, must be trained and use lead-safe work practices. 

They are also required to provide a copy of the lead pamphlet "Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools" to owners and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas occupants before starting renovation work. This demonstration project provided critical information about the cost of and best approaches for decontaminating homes that were damaged by flooding from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

The project team selected three homes, owned by low- or moderate-income families, that experienced between two to six feet of water above the first floor. NCHH supervised the health aspects of the program, including before-and-after environmental testing, worker protection issues, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas and documentation of the costs and procedures. 

A committee of healthy housing experts and scientists provided advice regarding the demolition, decontamination, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas and worker protection approaches to be used by the project team. Following the completion of the demonstration, the project team published a "how-to" guide (Creating a Healthy Home: 

A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes) and a video (Mold Clean-up Guidance for New Orleans Area Residents Affected by Hurrican Katrina) for contractors, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas community-based housing organizations, homeowners, and tradespeople who are involved in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The study examined lead particulate dust-fall deposition generated by housing demolition in Chicago and Baltimore. 

The Chicago site consisted of 101 scattered-site single-family housing units where minimal or Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas non-existent dust suppression methods were primarily used. The Baltimore site consisted of approximately 900 multi-family row homes in a defined geographic area where use of barriers, water spraying, containment, deconstruction, and other extensive dust suppression methods were used. 

Both cities included houses likely to have significant amounts of lead-based paint. Lead dust-fall at both sites was measured by elevated containers with a defined surface area filled with one liter of de-ionized water and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas opened to the atmosphere for a measured period of time. Laboratory analysis was performed by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. 

In Baltimore, airborne lead particulate levels were all below reporting detection limits, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas but lead dust-fall levels were typically above detection reporting limits. Baseline lead dust-fall levels in both cities were collected in areas away from the active demolition sites. The results from the two cities show that lead dust-fall is significantly lower when the extensive dust suppression methods specified in Baltimore are used. 

The project also measured other contaminants in dust, including silica, asbestos, particle size distributions, and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas other metals. The results have important implications for how lead-contaminated dust generated from housing demolition can be assessed and controlled to protect the public health. 

Many porches are painted with paints high in lead. These porches are exposed to the elements, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas which in northern climates can be extreme and may result in rapid deterioration. Lead in porch dust can be high, and anecdotal evidence suggests that children may be exposed to high levels of lead dust either directly (i.e., while playing on porches) or indirectly (from dust tracked into the home). 

There is no established porch lead dust standard. Neither HUD nor EPA has required clearance wipe sampling on exterior surfaces, citing a lack of evidence, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas although HUD has published guidance on the matter. This study examines the significance and appropriate response to porch dust. A porch dust standard could be a valuable measure of the adequacy of clean-up after exterior lead hazard control work. 

It would also serve as a useful marker of exterior risk, regardless of source. The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) released a new study, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, comparing window replacement to window repair as a strategy for reducing lead paint hazards. 

The study evaluated homes that either replaced or repaired windows 12 years ago to determine which strategy resulted in lower dust lead levels on floors and Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas window sills. Dust is the primary source of lead exposure for children because of crawling and hand to-mouth behavior. 

The results showed that there was a significantly lower amount of lead dust in homes where all the windows were replaced—41% lower floor dust levels and 51% lower window sill dust levels—compared to homes where windows had been repaired. Taking into account energy efficiency and home improvement value, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas the net economic benefit of window replacement compared to window repair is $1,700-$2,000 more per home. 

Lead-safe window replacement is an important element of lead hazard control, weatherization, renovation, and housing investment strategies. However, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas the study concluded that window replacement alone will often not render a home lead-safe. Instead, all lead sources should be addressed in homes, including deteriorated lead paint on the exterior of homes, lead dust on floors, lead in soil and other sources. 

"Window replacement is a critical part of an overall strategy for protecting children from lead hazards in their homes. All things being equal, Lead-based Paint In Flooded Areas our study shows that when you have the choice of window repair or replacement—replacement will give you a better return on your investment for both health and your wallet," said Rebecca Morley, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.

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