As part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), President Trump has assigned an Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children task force with the responsibility for raising awareness about the detrimental effects involved with lead exposure.

The task force is co-chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Alex Azar, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson. Even with past efforts to increase awareness, already there have been several cases of lead paint violations in 2018—including at least one window company.

In March, the EPA announced six settlements from violations of the federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (LRRP), resulting in $287,000 in settlements during the past year—most recently including True View Windows and Glass Block Inc., in Phoenix, Ariz.

The LRRP rule was created to protect the public, and especially children, from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in homes and facilities built before 1978, including such things as window replacement. The rule requires individuals performing renovations to be properly trained and certified, and to follow lead-safe work practices.

True View Windows and Glass Block Inc. was cited for violating the LRRP rule. The window company was discovered to be performing work in Phoenix without the required EPA certification. True View also reportedly failed to comply with resident notification requirements, post signs warning the risks of lead-contaminated dust, or keep records of lead-safe work practices.

“Exposure to lead-based paint is one of the most common ways children develop lead poisoning,” says EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator Mike Stoker. “This settlement will support local clinics in identifying and assisting children with elevated levels of lead in their blood and help prevent future exposure to lead-based paint.”

The EPA reports True View must pay a $15,060 penalty and spend $14,940 on blood lead analyzers and test kits for six Maricopa County, Ariz.-based health clinics.

The EPA also recently released Protecting Children from Lead Exposures, a downloadable document that highlights agencies and government officials working to diminish lead exposure.

“Reducing lead exposure, particularly among children, is a top priority for EPA,” says Wheeler. “We are in the process of completing several important actions to combat lead poisoning, such as publishing the new joint federal lead strategy, strengthening the dust-lead hazard standards, and overhauling the lead and copper rule for the first time in over two decades…we are releasing a new document, ‘Protecting Children from Lead Exposures,’ that will increase public awareness of the EPA programs and grants available to reduce lead exposure.”

The EPA and 17 partner agencies from the task force are working to finalize the Federal Strategy to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.

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