City of Grand Rapids partners with US-EPA to offer free lead-safety training to area contractors
The CDC shows exposure to lead can have detrimental effects on a child's development and behavior. In 2020, 4.8 percent of Grand Rapids children tested had elevated levels of lead in their blood, above 4.5 micrograms per deciliter.
In 2020, 4.8 percent of Grand Rapids children tested had elevated levels of lead in their blood above 4.5 micrograms per deciliter. According to the CDC, high blood levels are associated with increases in behavioral effects, delays in puberty and decreases in hearing, cognitive performance and post-natal growth.
To better protect against these effects, The City of Grand Rapids is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Home Repair Services of Kent County to offer free, lead-safe work practices training for area contractors.
Training will take place on July 28, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Home Repair Services, 1100 South Division in Grand Rapids.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this training free of charge thanks to the generosity of our partners at the US-EPA,” Paul Haan, Grand Rapids lead programs specialist, said. “Training costs are typically $200 to $300 per person, but this training is free. There are 25 slots available.”
The training will teach area contractors, rental property maintenance staff and others how to work safely when disturbing lead-based paint in older homes. It will also prepare contractors and landlords to apply for Lead-Safe Certification from the US-EPA. Certification is required of any paid labor disturbing more than 2 square feet inside a pre-1978 home or child occupied facility, or more than 20 square feet outside.
Haan said that the training is crucial, as renovations, if not done properly, can release toxic lead dust in a home. Lead dust from paint and soil is the leading contributor to elevated blood lead levels in children. The US-EPA has set hazard standards for lead dust in children’s homes.