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MDEQ to direct new lead-safe program

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has received authorization to administer and enforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lead Renovation Program.

Mississippi’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP) will be managed by MDEQ’s Air Division.

The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program mandates that contractors, property managers and others working for compensation in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, must be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices by the State of Mississippi. They are also required to provide a pamphlet, “Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools,” to owners and occupants before starting renovation work.

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 chips by disturbing lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Research has shown that lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, development delays and behavioral problems in young children.

For more information about Mississippi’s new program, including information on applying for certification or locating training, call (601) 961-5171, or visit www.deq.state.ms.us/MDEQ.nsf/page/Air_Lead-BasedPaint.

About Wally Northway

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