Friday, September 7, 2007

Lead Safety vs. Lead Hysteria

I'm one of those sorts who views any "health epidemic" with a seriously jaundiced eye. Most times, the louder the drum beats, the less I should be concerned and the more it's going to cost me. I had been viewing the lead paint issue the same way.

Due to the undertaking of this project, however, and the fact that the missus is still of child bearing age, I decided to take the Lead Safe Work Practices course on my birthday. It was sponsored by National Paint and Coatings Association and was hosted by the Northern Kentucky Health Department (more info at

I have to say, it was worth while. I had a few take-away notions:

  • Lead is both far more dangerous in some contexts than most folks realize, and yet less dangerous in other contexts than many think.
  • Don't ignore serious lead risks, but don't panic, either. It's not that big a deal to deal with lead paint hazards in a safe manner, and it can be extremely dangerous to do a "quick and dirty" removal of a lead hazard.
  • Lead paint is not nuclear waste
  • Even very small amounts of lead can be a very serious threat to children and pregnant women.

I urge anyone who is going to be undertaking a rehab or who does work in older buildings to take a Lead Safe Work practices course. Those dusty work clothes that you come home in, or that bathroom remodel you're doing could be causing neurological and developmental problems in your children. It won't take a whole lot to dramatically decrease the health risks to your family, but you have to know what they are before you can do anything about them.

The good news is that these courses are often free or very affordable. The Northern Ky. Dept. of Health plans to be offering them quarterly ( . Cincinnati is also offering these courses.

The University of Cinncinnati and Cincinnati Health Department
Combined Lead Safe Renvoator/Essential Maintenance Courses
For more information or to register, contact:
Barbara Boylan (513) 681-4995

Course Cost: Only $25
2007 Course Dates:
Wednesday, September 5th
Friday, September 28th
Wednesday, October 3rd
Friday, October 26th
Wednesday, November 7th
Friday, November 30th
Wednesday, December 5th
All courses are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
All courses will be held at the Cincinnati Health Department

Work safe folks.

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