"Rule on Lead Safety Set to Take Effect"

"After almost two decades of delays, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it was on track to implement a regulation requiring the construction industry to help prevent cases of lead poisoning among children.

The agency said it expected more than 125,000 renovation and remodeling contractors to be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices by April 22, when the new regulation takes effect.

Under the rule, workers would have to take steps like containing their work area with plastic and conducting a thorough cleanup of lead paint dust stirred up during construction activity, which federal officials say is partly to blame for about 120,000 cases of elevated lead levels in children younger than 6 each year.

Congress passed legislation in 1992 directing the E.P.A. to propose the regulation, but the agency did not finish the rule until 2008, after environmental and public interest groups filed a lawsuit to pressure the agency to issue it."

Mireya Navarro reports for the New York Times April 8, 2010.

Friday, April 9, 2010