Thursday, May 12, 2005

EPA lead rules

The LA Times reports that the EPA is not going to implement mandated safety regulations for lead-based paints in homes, and is instead looking into voluntary suggestions for safe handling of the materials.
"The regulations were to require that only certified contractors, using workers trained in lead-safety practices, be used for remodeling work in buildings constructed before 1978, when the use of lead-based paint for housing was banned.


"EPA officials emphasize that they are concerned about lead exposure and its effect on children. They also point to an internal study showing that the cost of the regulations — $1.7 billion to $3.1 billion annually — could be an overwhelming burden for the mostly small businesses that renovate buildings.

"However, an agency estimate showed that such rules would provide health benefits of greater value, from $2.7 billion to $4.2 billion annually.


"Under a 1992 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act, regulations governing building renovations and lead safety were to be in place by 1996, but the EPA fell behind schedule. In 2003, the agency issued a report saying it expected to finish the rules by 2005.

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