Until recently the only accurate way to tell if your child, or an adult, is being affected by lead was to draw blood through a needle or finger stick. In addition, you must ask your doctor for the test because blood lead testing is not routine.
Now there is a safer and painless method has been validated by laboratory analysis using oral fluid swabs to measure blood lead levels.
The clinical trial was designed and correlated by Dr. Anil T. Mangia, Chair of the Maternal and Child Health Section of Georgia Public Health Association and Chief Lead Epidemiologist for the Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health of Atlanta.
There is no child trauma or painful blood collection procedure – during some of the study oral samples were collected from children as they slept in their mother’s arms.
The oral sample is processed for the presence of lead by ExperTox Labs that has all the necessary equipment and expertise. The lab results are treated as personal medical information and protected by the HIPAA act. To see the many laboratory accreditations and certifications click on this link.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3.
Please recall that your test results is treated as personal medical information that is encrypted and protected as per the HIPPA act.
Lead poisoning is the name given to the harm caused by the presence of lead in the body, usually from months or years of exposure to small amounts of lead in the environment. Lead poisoning can happen at any age, but it is more harmful to children under 6 years of age and is especially harmful to those younger than 3 years of age; it can permanently affect a child’s physical health and mental development.
Symptoms of lead poisoning can be very vague and may include irritability, mood changes, weight loss, lack of energy, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain. In many cases there are no symptoms. Children younger than 3 who have lead poisoning may have anemia as well as learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and a variety of other developmental problems. If you suspect you or your child has been exposed to lead, a blood test may be appropriate.
Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing lead-contaminated substances or by skin contact. Small children may get lead poisoning by licking, chewing, or eating lead paint on toys, jewelry, or woodwork such as windowsills. In 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found high lead content in many children’s toys and jewelry made in other countries. For a complete list of recalled products, see the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov. Small children also may be exposed by breathing, swallowing, or playing in lead-contaminated dust, soil, or smoke.
A pregnant woman who is exposed to lead can pass it to her unborn baby.5 Lead can also be passed to a baby through the mother’s breast milk.
A study focusing on children in an urban primary care clinic showed that iron-deficient children absorb greater amounts of lead than children with adequate iron intake. Though further study is needed, the results suggest that ensuring iron intake in high-risk populations may help decrease the amount of lead absorbed by children in these groups.
First thing is to see your doctor as soon as you can. Treatment of lead poisoning begins with removal of sources of lead from the home and workplace. Providing balanced nutrition to a person with lead poisoning is also essential. Chelation therapy is often used to treat severe lead poisoning. A medicine binds to the lead and allows it to be released in urine.
Precautions that can reduce lead exposure
If you live in a home built before 1978, lead poisoning can be prevented by taking these simple precautions around the house:
Don Lott, an associate director of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, stated that enforcement will be increased in 2012. Mr. Lott, spoke at recent webinar given by the NAHB, also said that the EPA was receiving an average of 400 tips per month.
These recent comments sure feel like the EPA is getting its ducks in a row for enforcement. One of the most surprising things that I heard from the webinar was that between 40-60 percent of firms audited were not RRP certified.
The webinar included an unsettling slide called the FY2012 pipeline(i.e., cases in the EPA enforcement process)
1) There are a large number of cases that are expected to be filed/settled
2) These cases are being pushed through is a priority
These cases include both large and small firms and certified and non-certified firms
So there you have it. The EPA is coming and it seems that 400 tips per month are being reported.
Currently, Barbara Boxer of California (Democratic Majority Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works) andJames M. Inhofe Oklahoma (the Republican Minority Ranking Member Senator) are in charge of the RRP rule’s future.
What if the Republicans win the senate next election and the rolls are switched. If you keep up with the EPA RRP politics, you know that a group of senators lead by Republican Senator Inhofe have been frequent critics of the EPA’s RRP Rule. Oversight hearings have been called for on the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting regulations. Since March 26, 2010 through July 15, 2011, there have been many different news releases by the Republican Minority criticizing the EPA’s implementation of the RRP Rule.
With all the communications between Republican Senators and the EPA’s mishandling of the Lead Based Paint Rule, one would think that when the Republicans are in charge they will simple do away with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule altogether.
But, what politician can face the criticism from all the anti-lead organizations that support protecting pregnant women and children from exposure to lead? With this worthwhile objective in mind, the real answer is “No Senator or Representative” will stand against this cause.
ORAL FLUID LEAD POISONING TEST
Until recently the preferred way to test for lead poisoning was through blood serum drawn with a needle or finger sticks. Now a safer, less invasive method is available through oral fluid testing. This is a truly ouch-less test—saliva samples have been collected from children sleeping in their mother’s arms. It is 99.9% accurate, safe and easy to use with a very low cost. We could offer the Oral Lead Test Kits online at Check4Lead store if our clients want it. We have created a survey for our members, including you and would like to invite you to fill it out. It won’t take more than a minute and you answers product offering and services to you.
The clinical trial was designed and correlated by Dr. Anil T. Mangia, Chair of the Material and Child Health Section Georgia Public Health Association. “The success of this study is a milestone for lead testing on a universal scale,” said Dr. Mangia. “Children living in inner cities are at higher risk of being exposed to lead due to older homes. Also, unlike blood samples which need to be refrigerated, oral fluid swabs do not need refrigerated storage. This is a major benefit when marketed to third world countries.” Click here to learn more.
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM
Renovation workers and their families are potentially exposed to lead from work on pre-1978 buildings. But lead paint is not the only problem. Recently I talked to a lady who was undergoing Chelation Therapy for lead poisoning. The source was quite a surprise – she was lead-poisoned by the lead in a spice imported from outside the U.S. For a more complete list see Medline Plus.
Common symptoms of lead poisoning are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, constipation, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, moodiness, headache, joint or muscle aches, anemia, and decreased sexual drive. Severe health effects include damage to the nervous system, convulsion, or seizures. Lead poisoning in children can severely affect mental and physical development, and can cause a plethora of behavioral problems. Very high levels of lead in the bloodstream can be fatal for people of any age.
HERE ARE THEW RESULTS OF THE SURVEY
2. Have you heard of anyone that maybe suffering from the symptoms of lead poisoning?
3. Should the Check4Lead online store make the Oral Fluid Lead Poisoning Test Kit available for its clients?
From what I’ve heard and read, you would certainly think so; however, let’s take a closer look.
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) put sec. 450 in the house appropriations bill H.R. 2584, page 144 that prohibits funds allocated by this bill from being used for enforcement of any part of the RRP Rule until the Administrator of the EPA meets its obligations under the statute.
Release Date: 08/31/2011: Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., to Pay Civil Penalty and Replace Windows for Failure to Disclose Lead-Based Paint Hazards
Yes, the recognition of such kits will last until EPA publicizes its recognition of the first test kit that meets both the negative response and positive response criteria outlined in the 2008 Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule.
No, this is only a budget proposal and must be approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate, and signed into law by the President of the United States.
No, the White House Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2584, cutting appropriations for the Department of Interior, environment, and related agencies… (Click here for Statement of Administrative Policy) keyword search ‘Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’.
Professional renovators must continue to follow the RRP Rules and be prepared for enforcement action by the EPA. he EPA can request your RRP Documentation for review even though they did not visit your office. They can also compare documentation with renovation permits on file for compliance.
Rumors persist that the RRP Rule is “dead.” Not only is this not true, but it’s a dangerous assumption for renovators to make.
An amendment was introduced by Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) to deny funding for enforcement of the EPA’s RRP rule until a reliable test kit is recognized by the EPA. (Rep. Rehberg’s position is that the currently available test kits do not meet the standards that the EPA established three years ago.) On July 13, 2011, the House Appropriations Committee approved the amendment as part of the 2012 budget for the Department of Interior and the EPA.
Bill H. R. 2584 Sect. 450 page 144 states that none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement or enforce regulations commonly known as the “Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Paint Rule” or any subsequent amendments to such regulations, until the Administrator of the EPA meets its obligations under the statute.
The White House Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2584, cutting appropriations for the Department of Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012. This [bill] would undermine efforts to protect sensitive populations from exposure to lead, a known toxin to children and developing fetuses, during home renovation projects. The currently available test kits allow renovators to comply with the 2008 rule. (Click here for Statement of Administrative Policy)
The bill must be passed by the House and the Senate and then approved by the President. It looks like the bill will not become law in its present form. So, to use a page out of Shawn McCadden’s website,don’t be misled by the vote to cut off RRP enforcement funding. As a Renovator, do not assume that you no longer need to comply with RRPrules.
Renovators are required to keep all documentation and make it available for an EPA audit for 3 years. EPA auditors do not have to visit your office – they can require you to send all your documentation to them. So even if enforcement were to be temporarily suspended, the EPA can later ask you for records of projects that occurred during this “non-enforced” period.
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On July 15, 2011 the EPA finally released a PREPUBLICATION VERSION of the final rule. The 113 page document touched on many points that contractors have been waiting on. Fortunately, Mark Paskell of The Contractor Coaching Partnership, created a great summary of the changes.
1. Dust wipe testing and clearance requirements are not required. The clearance verification process taught in the RRP course stays.
2. Exterior work; Vertical containment must be used when affected surfaces are within 10 feet of the property line. The containment can be set up as close as possible to the disturbed surface so long as all debris are contained in the work area. For example vertical containment can be set up 5 feet from the disturbed surface.
Interior work; Vertical containment from floor to ceiling. Certified Renovators do not have to place the minimum 6 feet of plastic on interior floors. The vertical containment can be set up as close as possible to the disturbed surface so long as all debris are contained in the work area. For example vertical containment can be set up 3 feet from the disturbed surface.
3. Certified Renovators are allowed to collect a paint chip sample and send it to a recognized laboratory for analysis in lieu of using a test kit.
4. Records to be kept on file for five years instead of the former three year requirement.
5. Minimum penalty for states and Tribal programs of $5,000.
6. Hepa vacuums EPA has decided to promulgate the requirement that HEPA vacuums be operated in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, but not the requirement that compliant vacuums be rated at a MERV value of 17 or higher.
Many thinks to Mark Paskell of The Contractor Coaching Partnership for a quick summary of the RRP Prepublication version of the final rule.
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Perhaps it is like reporting any public hazard—if you don’t do it, someone could be injured or killed. When an untrained worker does renovation on buildings containing lead, he exposes himself, his client, and his family to a lead hazard. He may spread lead dust throughout the home he’s working on, and he can carry lead dust home on his clothes, face, and hands. The lead safe practices used by certified RRP contractors minimize this possibility—thus protecting the residents of the building, the construction worker, and his family.
When a lead-safe certified contractor drives by a pre-1978 project that he bid on and sees the work being done by non-certified renovator, just how is he supposed to feel? He is obeying the law and doing business in safe manner, yet he is losing income needed to pay his employees and support his family to the renegade renovator.
A contractor in Maine shot a video of a non-compliant renovator sanding the side of an apartment complex without containment, PPE, or any safety precautions. Then he posted the video on YouTube. Although it took several months, the non-compliant renovator was eventually cited and fined by the EPA.
The EPA admits that without people bringing RRP violations to their attention their enforcement efforts are diminished. They are hoping that the majority of contractors have a willingness to report misconduct by non-compliant renovators. When compliant contractors have their livelihood jeopardized by what amounts to criminal activity, reporting RRP violations is not vicarious snitching but only good corporate citizenship.
RRP Clearance Testing: Corrections and Additions to New Letter June 1, 2011
An expert source was kind enough to point out some corrections to our original news letter titled RRP Clearance Testing: Proposed Changes to the RRP Rule. The purpose for writing this piece was to make you aware of possible changes that will require clearance and clearance testing requirements for EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program. Corrections and additional information are as follows:
Please note that a dust sampling technician certification is an 8 hour class available from the same trainer that did your certified renovator training. If there are addition changes to the RRP Rule, let’s hope the renovator can do the dust sampling.
As always, I get by with a little help from my friends-many thanks for their comments.
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