LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News Vol 2 no 1 Summer 1994.  ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Recent US Regulatory Activity on Lead

By Elizabeth O'Brien

Whilst the recommendations of the NSW Working Groups are being looked at by the NSW Task Force on Lead in preparation for decisions by cabinet on a management strategy, it is interesting to look at recent US regulatory activity on lead

US Federal Legislation Pending

Lead Exposure Reduction Act 1993
Approved July 1993. Covers:

  • product labelling to state health risks.

  •  mandates EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) to develop new use notification procedures.

  • restricts continued use of lead-containing products.

  •  bans lead in most paints, toys and game pieces, curtain weights, inks, glass coatings, packaging and lead solder used in plumbing systems.

  •  phase out of lead (up to 13 years) in paint used on motor vehicle parts, and equipment used for agricultural, construction and industrial forestry purposes.

  •  phase out of lead (up to 5 years) in some expressed glass coatings - architectural, automotive window, mirror backings.

EPA to:

  • survey all lead-containing products and develop inventory within 180 days of enactment.

  • develop list of exposure concerns within six years of enactment.

  • be notified by manufacturers, processors and importers of lead, of new uses, or if product contains a higher concentration of lead than allowed by EP A. Exemptions include stained glass products, firearms and radiation shielding containers.

Excise Tax on Lead

  • Legislation to impose an excise tax on lead and lead products, and create a lead abatement trust fund.

  • Would amend the Internal Revenue Code on these products manufactured or imported into the United States by imposing a tax of 45 cents per pound.

  • Trust fund will use tax revenues to assist states and cities in rectifying lead paint hazards in low income housing and day care centres.

Tax on Lead Produced

Another bill which imposes a flat tax as lead is produced at the smelter was referred to Committee in June 93. Involves a levy per ton of lead and will raise $1 billion a year which will be used to remediate lead paint exposure after performing identification and children's medical surveillance.

Federal Housing Reauthorization Act

EPA is trying to develop regulations under the Residential Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act contained in Title X ("ten"), which focus on the concentration of lead in soil and dust in the belief that the mere presence of residential lead based paint is not a health hazard, and that the primary pathway for lead uptake by children is ingestion of soil and dust. Dust exposure would form the basis for abatement action.

The Act also sets down the requirements for training and certification of abatement workers and assessors. Many states are currently proposing bills to comply with this legislation.

No New Permits for Incinerators
Last May EPA announced an 18 month freeze on new hazardous waste incinerator permits and new controls for existing incinerators, boilers and industrial furnaces including cement kilns. Up to 80% of the fuel used in cement kilns is hazardous paint waste. Incinerators in the US bum more than 70% of the hazardous waste.

Community Right-to-Know
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to­Know Act of 1986 develops plans for public safety following chemical accidents, provides for public access to information on hazardous substances and inventories of hazardous substances.

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
In 1993, more than 28,000 facilities reported information on approximately 320 chemicals to TRI. Congress expanded the TRI reporting requirements in 1990 to include data on recycling and pollution pre­vention activities. The expansion of the TRI program is supported by the EPA so that communities are able to "separate the information on chemicals in waste streams" from "that which is actually released". TRI reporting has been credited with exceptional reductions in toxics emissions simply because industry is forced to measure what it is losing in its waste stream.

Pollution Prevention Act of 1990
The EPA has endorsed the pollution prevention hierarchy which includes reuse/recycling, source reduction, treatment and disposal. Sufficient attention must now be given to pollution prevention strategies in all federal regulations. Also, many states have passed bills to encourage pollution prevention, with other states such as New York considering such legislation.

Paint Waste Recycling
EPA proposed "universal waste" rule, which would exempt certain wastes from strict hazardous waste management requirements. e.g. it proposes to include paint wastes, such as solvent-borne waste paint as universal waste so that such wastes could easily be diverted to encourage recycling.

Construction Workers Lead Exposure
In May 1993 the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act Construction Industry Standard for occupational exposure to lead was promulgated. Many states seek to protect construction workers in the same way that other workers have always been protected by the general industry standard for lead e.g. Virginia, Michigan, California, South Carolina and Indiana.

Proposed Legislation and Regulations ­States of USA

Approval of Family Day Care Homes
An emergency rule has been issued by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Office for Children updating the standards for the licensure or approval of family day care homes, including rules regarding lead paint abatement.

Compulsory Blood Screening
A proposed North Carolina bill requires lead poisoning screening of pupils prior to kindergarten and 7th grade.

Fees from industry for Blood Screening
A bill passed in 1991 by the California Legislature authorizes the collection of "fees" from industries that have contributed or are currently contributing to environmental lead contamination to fund a program to screen children under the age of six for elevated blood lead levels. In earlier drafts of the bill, it required the paint industry to contribute 47% and the petroleum industry to contribute 53% of the total assessment. In the final rule, this was changed to 15% from the paint and 85% from the petroleum industry.

Recycled Paint
In California it is proposed that all state agencies are required to purchase re-refined automotive lubricants and recycled antifreeze, solvents and paints.

Bridge Paint Removal
A New York bill makes provisions regarding bridge paint removal projects and provides for the study of paint removal techniques.

Tax Credit for Lead Hazard Reduction
An Ohio bill (Oct 93) and a Rhode Island bill (July 93) in relation to lead poisoning prevention create a tax credit for lead hazard reduction conducted according to applicable regulations. Another Rhode Island bill (July 93) provides a tax credit for homeowners for residential lead removal or abatement.

Blood Lead Screening Procedures
A Rhode Island regulation (June 93) amends lead poisoning prevention regulations to establish environmental lead standards, procedures and intervals for blood lead screening, procedures for laboratory testing and reimbursement by insurers, and procedures for conducting environmental lead inspections and/or lead hazard reduction activities.

Blood Screening Upon Parent Request
A Vermont bill (June 93) establishes a program for training and certification of lead hazard abatement workers and makes blood lead screening and testing of children available on request of parents.

Lead Hazards Disclosure in Sale or Lease
The same Vermont bill (June 93) provides for inspection and testing of child care facilities and ensures that lead-based paint hazards are disclosed in the sale or lease of pre-1978 housing.

Unlawful Discriminatory Practice
An Ohio bill (Oct 93) provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to refuse to sell or rent housing because it will be occupied by a young child or pregnant woman and requires lead screening of certain young children.

A Pennsylvania bill (June 93) prohibits packaging that includes inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives containing lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which has been intentionally introduced as an element during manufacturing. Similar bills exist in many states. In New York a bill on Environmentally Sound Packaging (June 93) requires packaging to be reusable or recyclable.

Employee Trip Reduction Plans
A proposed regulation by the Maryland Department of the Environment aims to implement an employee commuter options program affecting work sites employing 100 or more employees. The requirements of the program are for the affected employers to conduct surveys by mid-1994 and to submit employee trip reduction plans by November 15, 1995.

[Reference: Journal of Coatings Technology, Jul-Oct 93

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