WASHINGTON - NPCA members should continue their efforts to have retailers display and offer the NPCA lead-information pamphlet: Lead Exposure Warnings and Education and Training Programs Agreement Between State Attorneys General and the National Paint and Coatings Association, Inc. ("Agreement"). Consumer paint manufacturers must provide this specified point-of-sale information until at least December 2007.

Increasingly, state and local lead-poisoning prevention programs are looking to build on the outreach efforts the paint industry has accomplished under the Agreement. Frequently, this has involved stopping at retail sales locations in their jurisdiction to offer additional information pieces and develop cooperative efforts, such as distribution of lead cleanup kits and testing information.

Recently, for example, a series of visits by a health educator working on a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control in Los Angeles County, Calif., revealed that several retailers, including company stores, were seemingly unaware of the requirement to distribute the brochures, much less have them on hand.

These visits may now result in such public-interest health advocates contacting California state officials to prompt scrutiny of industry compliance with the information provision requirements of the Agreement, specifically at retail point of sale. California is but one example, too, since this is a nationwide commitment signed with a total of 50 state attorneys general and D.C. and territorial counterparts.

The industry has spent over $50 million thus far to label 650 million containers with an approved warning for proper surface preparation when lead may be present. In addition, a rigorous, free training program has been given repeatedly throughout the nation, with about 10,000 contractors and state housing agents, and others, trained per the HUD curriculum in English and Spanish, thus far. It is thus critical that the public-education/point-of-sale information requirements be carried through completely in the retail-distribution chain.

NPCA facilitates the distribution of brochures at the retail point of sale by arranging for several printers to manufacture and distribute them (see www.paint.org/ind_info/leadwarning.cfm). The NPCA strongly urges retail paint manufacturers to review their current efforts to conform to the information distribution requirements under the Agreement (www.paint.org/ ind_info/state_ag_agreement.pdf) and make certain that their retail sales locations continue to support their efforts by displaying the required brochures. (NPCA has previously offered prototype notices for consumer paint companies to use in communicating with retail establishments, and to explain the point-of-sale program, and would be happy to provide them again on request.)

Paint companies that need additional assistance from NPCA to obtain and distribute the required lead-information brochures should contact Steve Sides on the NPCA staff (ssides@paint.org).