Nearly a quarter of a million children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on data from a 2003–2004 national survey. One source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in buildings built before 1978.
“If high blood lead levels are not detected early, children with such high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system,” said Diane Krueger, CR, Milwaukee/NARI president. “They can develop behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior.”
Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. As of April 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed new regulations for contractors working in homes built before 1978. The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule mandates that Remodelers who intend to work in pre-1978 homes to register their company and complete an eight-hour training and certification course with an accredited trainer. The course teaches Remodelers how to safely contain lead in a home as it is being disturbed and reduce exposure to residents and workers.
“Homeowners should be aware that this new rule is enforced and should be skeptical of any contractors who choose not to follow the law,” said Krueger.
Pregnant women are also vulnerable to lead poisoning. “There is a good chance that any home, building, school, or daycare center built before 1978 contains lead paint,” Krueger said. “Just a few particles of dust from lead-based paint are enough to poison a child; the effects can last a lifetime.
“The disturbance of lead paint in home renovation creates lead dust,” she continued. “It is vitally important that homeowners understand lead hazards and how they can protect themselves and their children from lead poisoning, particularly if home renovation or remodeling is on the horizon.”
The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 800 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.
For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI’s Remodeling Guide,” call 414-771-4071 or visit the Council’s Web site at www.milwaukeenari.org.
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