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Lead paint threat turns out insignificant

Lead paint threat turns out insignificant

Ramsey Kincannon

News Editor

Before Fall Break, many students living in program houses were informed of the possibility of lead paint lining the walls of their program houses.

They were requested to sign a form acknowledging that some of the houses built before 1978 could have been covered with a lead-based paint. This caused a significant stir to many residents of program houses, who felt they were not offered enough of an alternative to merely signing a form. They were also worried about the possibility of a poisonous substance lining their walls.

Lauren Dyer, the assistant director of resident life, stated that the notification was merely a informative bulletin brought on by a government regulation which mandates that owners of homes built before 1978 inform their renters or residents of the possibility of lead-based paint. She also said that “there isn’t a concern,” there are “no plans to tear down houses” in order to rebuild them, but the Resident Life staff are always “doing projects to update housing.”

Wooster’s Independent Student Housing Application has already stated the possibility of lead paint in the houses, and has issued the following regulation in their application for off-campus housing: “Before renting pre-1978 housing, owners are required to disclose the presence of lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling, and renters must receive a federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention.”

Louis W. Sullivan, the secretary of the department of Health and Human Services in 1991, said that lead was the “number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States”          (epa.gov).

The substances used then were heavily-leaded; homes erected as recently as 1978 could still contain trace elements. Therefore, the residents of homes built before 1960 should be the most concerned about lead paint.

Though many of the drastic side effects are incredibly unlikely and would require extreme exposure over long periods of time, high levels of lead ingestion could lead to symptoms such as “convulsion, coma and even death” (epa.gov). Lower levels of exposure would “adversely affect the brain, the central nervous system, blood cells and kidneys” (epa.gov).

 

 

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