April 22, 2010, marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On this day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule will go into effect. This ruling requires that all renovation and remodeling contractors received lead safety training by April 22. The EPA estimates that more than 125,000 contractors will ultimately receive the lead-safe certification by the Earth Day deadline.

Lead is a known toxin and can lead to a variety of health, behavioral, and developmental impacts, especially in children. Despite regulatory efforts to reduce children’s exposure to lead in the household, the EPA reports that 1 million American children are diagnosed with lead poisoning from paint exposure each year. The EPA stepped up its efforts with the finalization of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) in 2008.

“There has been tremendous progress by people working in the construction and remodeling trades to become trained in lead-safe work practices,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “EPA has been working hard to get the word out far and wide to contractors working in older homes, schools and day care centers that this training is available to help stop lead poisoning in children. All a contractor needs to do to be certified is take a simple one-day course.” Source: EPA
Since the finalization of the LRRP rule in 2008, 190 training providers have been certified to provide lead safe certification courses. These training providers have hosted nearly 5,000 training courses and trained about 100,000 contractors. As the Earth Day deadline looms, the EPA expects that an additional 25,000 contractors will complete the certification.

In order to help remodeling and renovation contractors meet this deadline, the EPA has launched a media campaign and is expediting the training and certification process. If you’re a contractor who needs to obtain lead safety certification by April 22, 2010, you can find a local training provider by using the EPA-accredited RRP training provider search tool.

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