May 12, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
ATTORNEYS GENERAL ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM LEAD
Consumer Education, Warning Labels
Aimed at Reducing Cases of Lead Paint Poisoning
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that attorneys general
from 50 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
The agreement, reached between the state Attorneys General and the
National Paint and Coatings 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.
The agreement requires both a lead exposure warning on the side
of the paint can, as part of the manufacturers surface preparation
instructions, as well as an abbreviated warning either on the top
of the can or on a separate "sticker." 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.
I am concerned that Marylanders also need to be warned of the dangers
caused by open flame burning of lead paint, this agreement in its
current state is a step in the right direction," Attorney General
Curran said. "We hope it will result in a reduction in the
number of lead poisoning cases, especially relating to children."
National Paint and Coatings Association has agreed to commence further
discussions about the inclusion of additional warnings about open
flame burning on labels in the future.
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.
In Baltimore City in 2001, 10 percent of all children between the
ages of 0-6 who were tested had elevated lead blood levels.
past legislative session, Attorney General Curran supported House
Bill 719, requiring the Maryland Department of the Environment distribute
for display a poster warning of the hazards of lead paint. The bill
was passed by the General Assembly and awaits Governor Ehrlichs
signature. If signed, the posters must be displayed by every Maryland
retailer selling paint or paint products by October 1, 2003.
learn more about working safely with lead paint, consumers should
call the Environmental Protection Authoritys Lead Information
Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or log on to www.epa.gov/lead.
total, Attorneys General from 50 states and jurisdictions signed
on to the agreement, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia,
Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana
Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington,
West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.