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EPA OKs Michigan Department of Community Health Lead-based Paint Pre-renovation Education Program

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: Kären Thompson, 312-353-8547,

No. 08-OPA148

CHICAGO (Sep. 25, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 recently approved the Michigan Department of Community Health's Lead-based Paint Pre-renovation Education Program.

The new state program requires construction contractors, property managers and others who perform renovations for compensation to distribute the lead pamphlet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" to owners and occupants before starting renovation work.

The rule applies only to residential homes and apartments built before 1978 and includes most repair, remodeling and maintenance activities that disturb painted surfaces.

"Childhood lead poisoning remains a significant public health problem throughout the U.S," said Margaret Guerriero director of EPA region 5's Land and Chemicals Division. We commend Michigan, one of the nation's first three states to receive federal approval for this portion of the lead program, for taking the initiative to prevent further lead poisoning by raising public awareness."

"We are pleased that we can move forward with this program to protect our residents and their children from the dangers of lead paint," said Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski. "The people of Michigan have the right to be informed about potential exposure to lead paint. This program will help us achieve our goal of eliminating the hazards of lead paint."

Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poor hearing and a host of other health problems in young children.

Peeling lead paint is the most common source of lead exposure to children in the United States. About 75 percent of the nation's housing built before 1978 contains lead-based paint. When properly managed, lead-based paint poses little risk. If paint is not maintained, however, even low levels of lead exposure can threaten occupants' health, especially children and pregnant women.

You can order the lead awareness pamphlet by calling 800-424-LEAD (5323)
You can learn more about protecting your family from lead-based paint at

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