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Attorney General Announces Agreement to Protect Children from Lead Paint Poisoning

Joint action with other Attorneys General will provide consumer education and 
warning labels aimed at reducing cases of lead paint poisoning in children
ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO 
PROTECT CHILDREN FROM LEAD PAINT POISONING

(Phoenix, Arizona—May 16,  2003) Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has announced that Attorneys General from 48 states and jurisdictions have finalized an agreement aimed at educating and warning consumers and families about the risk of lead paint exposure during repainting and other home renovation work.    

The agreement, reached between the state Attorneys General  and the National Paint and Coating Association (NPCA), requires paint manufacturers to affix warning labels on paint  cans and provide consumer education and training, alerting consumers to the hazards of lead paint exposure and how to avoid it. 

“We believe that meaningful warning labels will  substantially reduce the number of lead poisoning cases, especially relating to children,” Goddard  said. “This agreement will  help educate families and consumers about the potential dangers associated with a home improvement project.”

While lead paint has not been manufactured or sold since 1978, it still presents a serious health risk to adults and, especially, young children who are exposed to dust or occupy homes during renovations. 

The agreement requires both a lead exposure warning on the side of the paint can, as part of the manufacturer’s surface preparation instructions, as well as an abbreviated warning either on the top of the can or on a separate “sticker” where the warning is less likely to be obscured after the paint is used.  The National Paint and Coatings Association has also agreed to fund and provide consumer education and training courses on lead-safe renovation and repainting to homeowners, contractors, landlords and housing workers. Also under the terms of the agreement, NPCA will develop discount programs for safety equipment.  

Officials from the State Attorneys General participating in the  initiative met in October with representatives from 10 major paint manufacturers to begin negotiations.  

Lead poisoning stemming from inadequate surface preparation prior to repainting affects children from all social and economic backgrounds. Whether repainting a rented apartment or installing a brand new kitchen, it is imperative that families take the proper precautions.  

To learn more about working safely with lead paint, consumers should call the Environmental Protection Authority’s Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or log on to www.epa.gov/lead.