Lead Paint Removal >> Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors

Educate small painting and remodeling contractors about lead-safe work practices to protect the health of occupants (especially small children) and employees. From 1996 to 2000, 34 half-day lead awareness trainings were held throughout California to increase contractors' use Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors of lead-safe practices. 

Educational methods included focusing on best practices, utilizing a peer educator, and working with stakeholders to do outreach to this hard-to-reach audience. We report on the evaluation of 18 of these seminars where we found that 30% to 49% of the interviewed Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors contractors began doing many of the lead-safe work practices after attendance. 

We conclude that this program can have a modest impact in areas that contractors are more familiar with; new areas not part of their experience do not fare as well. However, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors without a more integrated public health educational and enforcement strategy, educational efforts such as ours can have only a limited impact. 

Keywords: occupational health; small business; lead poisoning; lead-safe best practices; peer educator; intervention F rom January 1996 to November 2000, we conducted 34 half-day lead safety awareness training seminars throughout California for small painting and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors remodeling contractors. Of the 1,462 participants attending the trainings conducted by the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP), Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Health Services (CDHS), 1,138 were contractors. 

This effort was supported by a workers' compensation insurance carrier, contractor organizations, and local health departments. We report on our program's experience with outreach and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors training for these small business owners and the evaluation of these efforts. After completion of 22 seminars, an impact evaluation was conducted through a telephone survey of contractors who attended one of 18 seminars from October 1996 to May 1998. 

The OLPPP in the CDHS is mandated to provide education to employers and workers about preventing work-related lead poisoning. The program's experience shows that employers are often unaware of lead hazards, techniques for controlling exposure, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors and Cal/ Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations to protect lead-exposed employees. 

Small business owners, in particular, lack resources and technical staff dedicated to employee health and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors safety. Authors' Note:This project was funded by the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP), Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Health Services, with in-kind contributions from the State Compensation Insurance Fund. 

Human participants approval was not Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors required for this project. We would like to acknowledge other Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program staff who contributed to this project: Luz Kirsch; Edward Guzman; George Saunders, MPH; Simone Brumis, MPH, CIH; Inez Tamayo; Baine Windham; Patricia Coyle, MPH; Karen Hipkins, NP-C, MPH; and Susan Payne, MA; and State Compensation Insurance Fund staff who contributed: Randall Chin, Debbie OwYoung, and Andrew Long. 

Special thanks to attorney Rick Warren who developed the contractor liability segment. We sincerely thank the following stakeholder organizations who supported and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors endorsed the project: the State Compensation Insurance Fund (a major workers' compensation insurance carrier in California); local organizations of small painting and general contractors including the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.

County Builders' Exchanges, the Southern California Builders Association, and the National Association of Remodeling Industries; the International Union of Painters and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors Allied Trades; Cal/OSHA Consultation Service; the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, California Department of Health Services; and local health departments' childhood lead programs. 

In 1992, Congress passed Title X, The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, with regulatory phase-ins that directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect children, other building occupants, and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors workers from lead hazards. Title X recognized that childhood lead poisoning was a major environmental health problem and that construction workers continued to be lead poisoned on the job. 

As required by Title X, OSHA adopted, in 1993, a construction lead standard (OSHA, 1993) to protect workers. Surface preparation work by painters puts workers at risk and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors can also contaminate the building and surrounding property if not done properly. 

There are case reports and population studies documenting elevated blood lead levels in children attributable to renovation and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors remodeling work (Amitai, Brown, Graef, & Cosgrove, 1991; Amitai et al., 1987; Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 1999; Franko, Stasiuk, & Svenson, 1997; Marino et al., 1990; Rabinowitz, Leviton, & Bellinger, 1985). 

Paint removal using common methods has been shown to cause significant amounts of lead to scatter and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors settle over a widespread area, and cleanup was found often to be inadequate for reducing contamination to safe levels (EPA, 1997; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH], 2001; Sussell, Gittleman, & Singal, 1999). 

In addition, lead dust brought home by painters on their clothes, shoes, or bodies may endanger household members, especially young children. Studies have documented higher blood lead levels (BLLs) among children of construction workers as compared to neighborhood controls, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors as well as lead contamination in the automobiles and homes of construction workers (Piacitelli, Whelan, Sieber, & Gerwel, 1997; Whelan et al., 1997). 

Lead adversely affects several body systems including the nervous, renal, and reproductive systems. Routes of exposure for inorganic lead (as found in lead paint) are inhalation and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors ingestion. Research shows multiple health effects at lead levels formerly believed safe. A developing fetus and children up to the age of 6 years are especially sensitive to irreversible neurological damage from lead exposure. 

Available evidence suggests there is no BLL without risk of health effects in these populations (National Research Council, 1993). In addition, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors recent research demonstrated deficits in cognitive and academic skills associated with lead exposure at BLLs lower than 5 µg/dL among children aged 6 to 16 years (Lanphear, Dietrich, Auinger, & Cox, 2000). 

In adults, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors several studies have associated lead exposure with elevations in blood pressure (Harlan, 1988; Hu et al., 1996; J. Schwartz, 1988); because hypertension is a significant risk factor for heart disease, lead exposure may exert an important influence on cardiovascular mortality. 

Neuropsychological studies performed in workers have detected subtle adverse effects on cognitive abilities, manual dexterity, muscle strength, reaction time, Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors visual-motor coordination, and mood (Baker et al., 1985; Campara et al., 1984; Mantere, Hänninen, Hernberg, & Luukkonen, 1984; B. S. Schwartz et al., 2001; Stollery, 1996). 

Lead has been associated with adverse reproductive effects in men and women including abnormal sperm morphology or decreased sperm count (Alexander et al., 1996; Lerda, 1992; Telisman et al., 2000) and Lead Paint Testing For Paint Contractors increased risk of spontaneous abortion (Bjora-Aburto et al., 1999).

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