Children, families and the construction workers who renovate homes built prior to 1978 will benefit from having an Environmental Protection Agency-accredited Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting training center in the state.
West Virginia University Safety and Health Extension is now accredited to provide the government-mandated training necessary to properly and safely make repairs and renovations to homes with possible lead paint problems.
Two of the most common sources of lead poisoning include deteriorating lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust, according to Dan Whiteman, WVU Extension industrial hygienist.
“These courses help train and educate the people who are in the field on how to contain and remove materials that are lead-based,” Whiteman said. “The overall goal is to make safer environments for everyone involved.”
People can ingest lead through a variety of ways, including putting their hands in their mouths after touching lead dust or breathing in lead dust, especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces.
Lead paint can cause problems to all who come in contact with it, but children are often most susceptible.
Since October 2010, the federal government requires that any employers or workers making such adjustments must go through the proper training and become certified and registered with the EPA to legally make those repairs.
Homeowners can check the levels of lead in their homes by having a professional paint inspection. This informs the homeowner of the lead content of every painted surface in their home.
Safety and Health Extension offers four different classes, including a supplemental Occupational Safety and Health Administration training course in lead safety. Courses are currently offered at the WVU Safety and Health Training Center in Morgantown, but there is a possibility for future training sessions to be scheduled around the state.
WVU Safety and Health is a unit of WVU Extension Service. Safety and Health faculty and staff provide technical assistance, safety and health training, and applied research services to public- and private-sector employers and employees.
For more information on courses and training, call 1-800-626-4748. Visit www.wvusafetyandhealth.org and click on the “training” link to register for a class.
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CONTACT: Ann Bailey Berry