WASHINGTON — A report that calls for a comprehensive federal strategy aimed at eliminating childhood lead poisoning in the United States by 2010 includes recommendations that reflect the coatings industry’s longstanding position that “targeted, feasible and effective strategies” are needed to reduce the threat of childhood lead poisoning, the National Paint & Coatings Association (NPCA) says.
The report, which is the result of an assessment of children’s environmental health risks ordered by President Clinton in 1997, states that lead-hazard reduction efforts should be concentrated on the 2.3 million low-income housing units most likely to have lead-based paint hazards. The estimate of such housing units is far below earlier totals, and is based on a better definition of what constitutes lead-based paint hazards, the NPCA said. Other factors in the lower estimate are the effects of urban redevelopment programs that have reduced the number of such housing units, the association said.
The report, issued by the Lead Poisoning Prevention Workgroup, recommends a combination of several approaches to ending the threat of lead poisoning, including government and private-sector funding of programs to eliminate such hazards in housing; outreach and public-education efforts to increase awareness of lead hazards and how to address them; and enforcement of lead-safety laws and regulations.
NPCA President J. Andrew Doyle said many of the recommendations in the report “echo the paint industry’s longstanding position on lead-hazard control, namely, that targeted, feasible and effective strategies are necessary to further stem the threat of childhood lead poisoning.” The NPCA also said the report’s recommendations include the use of interim controls, such as safe repainting, because such measures “provide the best opportunity for success … and thereby protect the largest number of children in the near term.”
The report can be viewed on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Web site at www.hud.gov/lea/leahome.html.