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EPA Celebrates Ten Years of Lead Poisoning Prevention Efforts

Release Date: 10/22/2002
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, U.S. EPA, 415/947-4248,

     Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Law

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which established federal requirements regarding lead-based paint in housing to protect children's health and prevent exposure to lead hazards.

     Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, also known as Title Ten, in 1992 to significantly reduce the rates of childhood lead poisoning.      
     Since Title Ten was signed into law, the number of recorded cases of children with low-level lead poisoning has dropped significantly from 3 million to 900,000.  

     "Although lead poisoning cases are decreasing, exposure to lead is a critical health risk for children," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  "It's important that families have their homes tested for lead to safeguard their children's health and prevent permanent learning disabilities often associated with exposure to lead."

     Lead poisoning in children, even at low levels, can cause developmental delays, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and behavior problems.  At higher levels, lead poisoning can cause brain, central nervous system damage, and may result in death.  

     Parents can identify elevated levels of lead through a simple blood test that a health care provider can perform.  Early identification can prevent the health risks associated with elevated levels of lead in the blood.

     The fundamental focus of Title Ten is prevention through finding and fixing lead-paint hazards in housing before children are poisoned.  Title Ten developed an effective federal strategy for reducing lead-paint hazards by:

     -- encouraging action to prevent childhood lead poisoning;
     -- mobilizing national resources through partnerships at all levels of government and the private sector to develop the most promising and cost-effective methods for reducing lead-based paint hazards;

     -- reducing the threat of childhood lead poisoning in housing managed by the federal government;

     -- and educating the public on the hazards and sources of lead-based paint poisoning and steps to reduce and eliminate such hazards.

     For more information on how to get home testing, Title Ten or general information on lead poisoning prevention, contact the National Lead Information center at 800-424-LEAD (5323) or visit the EPA's Web site at

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