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Source: EPA

Anyone who is working on or living in an old home may want to attend two free webinars offered next week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the dangers of lead paint and lead poisoning.

The webinars are being held during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. They are aimed at contractors and property owners who are dealing with homes built prior to 1978.

Lead poisoning is currently the No. 1 environmental health threat to young children in the United States because of its use in paint on older homes. “The most common source of lead exposure is through deteriorating lead-based paint in residences and commercial buildings built before 1978,” read a press release from the EPA.

The two webinars will be held on Thursday, Oct. 25. The first, on renovation, repair and painting, which is aimed at contractors, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and will touch on the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule which requires contractors to be certified in the safe removal of old lead paint. Under the rule, anyone working on a house or facility where lead paint may be present must have completed training from the EPA. The rule applies when the renovation or repair disturbs 6 square feet of interior space, or 20 square feet of exterior painted surfaces, according to the EPA. The law went into effect in April 2010. 

“The rule does not apply to individuals doing work on their personal residences,” the EPA said in its press release. But the agency advises homeowners dealing with lead paint use the lead-safe work practices.

The second webinar for homeowners and owners of rental units, as well as those selling properties built before 1978, will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Oct. 25 and will focus on the Lead-base Paint Disclosure Rule, which requires property owners to alert those taking up residence in the property about lead-based paint on the premises and other possible lead hazards before a sale or lease is in place.

“Sales contracts and leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint” if the home was built before 1978, according to the EPA. “Further, landlords and sellers must also provide the EPA publication ‘Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home’ to tenants and buyers.”

To register for either webinar, visit: www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/lead.htm#webinars