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The Lead-Based Paint Exposure Reduction Act was added to TSCA in October 1992. It called on EPA to reduce environmental exposure to lead contamination and prevent the adverse health effects caused by it.
Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.
Most homes built before 1978 contain at least some lead-based paint. That’s a concern because when ingested, lead can cause serious health effects, especially in children. Lead can cause permanent brain damage, leading to behavioral and learning problems, lowered IQ, and hearing problems. Lead can interfere with growth and also cause anemia, seizures, coma, and even death.
Children and adults can be exposed to lead through the air, water, and soil. In older homes, lead-based paint easily crumbles or turns to dust when it is disturbed through actions such as opening and closing windows or doors or during renovation activities.
Lead is regulated under a variety of laws enforced by EPA, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (Title X), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The laws are designed to protect children and adults from the dangers of exposure to lead.
Title IV of TSCA, along with other authorities in the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires EPA to regulate lead-based paint hazards. There are four main programs found in the EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 745. These are: