WASHINGTON -- The NPCA announced an agreement with a group of state attorneys general regarding lead-exposure warnings for paint-container labels and related education and training programs.

The NPCA said the agreement establishes a national program of consumer paint-product warnings, point-of-sale information, and education and training regarding the potential exposure to lead dust that could occur during the remodeling or renovation of buildings that may contain old lead-based paint.

The agreement has been negotiated following the announcement last October that 27 state attorneys general planned a campaign to require that all consumer paint products carry surface-preparation statements warning consumers of the potential for lead-dust exposure during the sanding and scraping of old lead paint.

Under the agreement, a 19-month lead-dust exposure sticker program for consumer paints will go into effect for products manufactured on or after Sept. 30, 2003, through April 30, 2005. A permanent labeling requirement will go into effect no later than Dec. 31, 2004. Also, beginning on Sept. 30, manufacturers will be required to distribute new point-of-sale consumer information.

In addition, a national training program offered at no cost to contractors and state and local officials will be created, underwritten and launched by the NPCA on behalf of the paint industry. The four-year educational and training program will offer 150 sessions to be conducted at 50 locations around the country.

The agreement was announced jointly by the NPCA and Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly, and is "emblematic of the U.S. paint industry's longstanding commitment to constructively address this problem," said NPCA President Andy Doyle.