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(1) The legislature finds that lead hazards associated with lead-based paint represent a significant and preventable environmental health problem. Lead-based paint is the most widespread of the various sources of lead exposure to the public. Census data show that one million five hundred sixty thousand homes in Washington state were built prior to 1978 when the sale of residential lead-based paint was banned. These are homes that are believed to contain some lead-based paint.
Lead negatively affects every system of the body. It is harmful to individuals of all ages and is especially harmful to children, fetuses, and adults of childbearing age. The effects of lead on a child's cognitive, behavioral, and developmental abilities may necessitate large expenditures of public funds for health care and special education. The irreversible damage to children and subsequent expenditures could be avoided if exposure to lead is reduced.
(2) The federal government regulates lead poisoning and lead hazard reduction through:
(a)(i) The lead-based paint poisoning prevention act;
(ii) The lead contamination control act;
(iii) The safe drinking water act;
(iv) The resource conservation and recovery act of 1976; and
(v) The residential lead-based paint hazard reduction act of 1992; and
(b) Implementing regulations of:
(i) The environmental protection agency;
(ii) The department of housing and urban development;
(iii) The occupational safety and health administration; and
(iv) The centers for disease control and prevention.
(3) In 1992, congress passed the federal residential lead-based paint hazard reduction act, which allows states to provide for the accreditation of lead-based paint activities programs, the certification of persons completing such training programs, and the licensing of lead-based paint activities contractors under standards developed by the United States environmental protection agency.
(4) The legislature recognizes the state's need to protect the public from exposure to lead hazards. A qualified and properly trained workforce is needed to assist in the prevention, detection, reduction, and elimination of hazards associated with lead-based paint. The purpose of training workers, supervisors, inspectors, risk assessors, project designers, renovators, and dust sampling technicians engaged in lead-based paint activities is to protect building occupants, particularly children ages six years and younger from potential lead-based paint hazards and exposures both during and after lead-based paint activities. Qualified and properly trained individuals and firms will help to ensure lead-based paint activities are conducted in a way that protects the health of the citizens of Washington state and safeguards the environment. The state lead-based paint activities program requires that all lead-based paint activities be performed by certified personnel trained by an accredited program, and that all lead-based paint activities meet minimum work practice standards established by the department of commerce. Therefore, the lead-based paint activities accreditation, training, and certification program shall be established in accordance with this chapter. The lead-based paint activities accreditation, training, and certification program shall be administered by the department of commerce and shall be used as a means to assure the protection of the general public from exposure to lead hazards.
(5) For the welfare of the people of the state of Washington, this chapter establishes a lead-based paint activities program within the department of commerce to protect the general public from exposure to lead hazards and to ensure the availability of a trained and qualified workforce to identify and address lead-based paint hazards. The legislature recognizes the department of commerce is not a regulatory agency and may delegate enforcement responsibilities under chapter 322, Laws of 2003 to local governments or private entities.
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