Federal, state and local regulatory agencies such as OSHA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have begun enforcing lead poisoning prevention and worker safety standards for contractors, landlords, and facilities such as daycare centers and schools.
These agencies have issued fines as high as $400,000 to contractors and rental property owners for violations of these standards. “Lead exposure is preventable when you know what to look for and what to do,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “These settlements serve as an important reminder of the importance of using lead-safe practices to protect the health of our children and prevent lead poisoning.”
Lead paint risk mitigation is critical not only to protect children, but also for businesses. "Employers have a legal responsibility to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces. Anything less is unacceptable." said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA Philadelphia Regional Administrator, in a press release announcing proposed fines of nearly $460,000 to a painting company in Pennsylvania for failing to properly protect workers from exposure to lead and provide fall protection.
The U.S. EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) rule requires that contractors that work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities be trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. This ensures that common renovation and repair activities are done in ways that minimize dangerous lead dust. On May 13, 2013, the EPA announced that it could enact a commercial RRP rule by January 1, 2017. The rule would also cover public buildings. This rule could affect commercial/public contractors, including those who do industrial building construction, commercial and institutional building construction, as well as other contractors.
Despite marked reductions in environmental sources of lead and increased protection from occupational lead exposure, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that lead exposure on the job remains a significant health threat for painting contractors. The CDC conducted a nine-year study (“Very high blood lead levels among adults – United States, 2002 – 2011”) of over 11,500 adults. Study results, published November 29, 2014, concluded that occupational exposure accounted for nine out of 10 cases of adult “very high” blood lead levels (BLLs). The CDC designates 10 µg/dL as the reference BLL for adults; levels at or above that are considered elevated; “very high” is defined as greater than or equal to 40 µg/dL.
Of 7,076 adults with high very blood lead levels whose known exposure source was their work, construction trades (comprised of painting and wall covering contractors; highway, street and bridge construction; site preparation contractors; and other construction sectors) were among of the four largest categories represented. Painting, renovation and remodeling work also figured prominently in non-occupational exposure activities that caused high BLLs. In general, the CDC reported: lead exposures "continue to occur at unacceptable levels," blood lead levels are likely under tested and their results underreported, and lead levels once considered harmless are now known to have harmful effects, such as decreased kidney function.
ECOBOND LBP LLC (ECOBOND) has invested significant resources in order to develop an effective and easy-to-use lead poisoning prevention product. This product, ECOBOND® LBP, is based on the same ECOBOND technology that has been used successfully for over a decade to treat lead and other metals in over 1,000,000 tons of solid waste. Independent testing performed to U.S. EPA-approved procedures confirmed in multiple testing that a standard application of ECOBOND LBP successfully seals and treats lead paint hazards.
ECOBOND LBP has become available to the general public only within the last two years. Prior to that time it was used exclusively by the company that holds the patent for ECOBOND technologies, MT2, LLC. Since its release to the retail markets, ECOBOND LBP has received wide acceptance and praise from homeowners and contractors alike.
“The first time we used ECOBOND LBP product was for the demolition of a several story, railroad signal tower in metropolitan New York. The coatings on the steel were very thick and had a very high lead concentration. Shortly after applying the ECOBOND LBP product, we were able to readily abate the old coatings to reveal bright metal, without any significant dust or ambient air lead concentrations. This product works, as advertised, and dramatically reduces potential lead exposure for workers and the public alike,” said Timothy Casamento, Vice President, Ahern Painting Contractors Inc.
ECOBOND LBP is available through Home Depot, Amazon, and ECOBOND LBP LLC. To learn more, visit: http://www.ecobondlbp.com.