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CERTIFY LEAD SAMPLING TECHNICIANS

By Wesley Weaver,2014-05-05 21:40
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CERTIFY LEAD SAMPLING TECHNICIANS

    CERTIFY LEAD SAMPLING TECHNICIANS

    DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY Testing for lead-contaminated dust is a critical tool for advancing lead poisoning preventionboth to ensure

    that lead hazards are not left behind after work that disturbs or repairs painted surfaces and to help to identify

    lead hazards in high-risk properties for corrective action. Home inspectors, community development

    corporations, public housing authorities, community-based organizations, housing code and HQS inspectors,

    and public health nurses can use lead dust testing to advance prevention efforts. HUD’s lead-safe housing

    rule accepts clearance by a state-certified lead sampling technician (LST) after non-abatement work. Further,

    EPA has developed a six-hour training course for LSTs, sponsored its delivery in several communities, and

    initiated its translation into Spanish. To help make dust testing services by certified personnel more readily

    available, ten states certify the LST as a free-standing discipline within their EPA-authorized lead programs:

    Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

BENEFITS

    Immediate/Direct Results: By certifying lead sampling technicians as a free-standing discipline, states can greatly enhance local capacity for lead dust testing. Trained LSTs are already qualified to perform initial

    checks to detect lead hazards in housing. With certification, they can conduct clearance following non-

    abatement lead hazard reduction activities or renovations under the HUD lead-safe housing rule and by state

    regulation. Increasing the pool of qualified individuals who can perform lead dust testing can help states to

    comply with HUD’s regulation, which requires clearance following rehab work or lead hazard reduction

    activities in federally-owned or assisted pre-1978 housing, and can advance state-initiated clearance

    requirements after non-abatement projects.

    Public Health Benefits: Certifying LSTs can significantly increase opportunities for primary prevention.

    Because LST training requirements are not onerous, and requirements for entry into the discipline are

    minimal, persons from a wide range of professions can obtain LST certification and incorporate lead dust

    testing into their work. For example, housing code inspectors can routinely perform dust sampling when a

    visual inspection in pre-1978 housing reveals potential hazards, and community-based organizations can

    document lead hazards in high-risk housing and use the data in organizing and advocacy campaigns to seek

    solutions.

    Other Indirect/Collateral Benefits: In 2001, EPA issued standards identifying dangerous levels of lead in paint, dust, and soil. These standards provide uniform benchmarks for stakeholders to use in making

    informed decisions regarding lead hazards. Certifying LSTs helps to facilitate the widespread use of the

    standards, since the testing required to determine compliance with the standards will be more accessible and

    affordable than a risk assessment.

    SCOPE OF POTENTIAL IMPACT Statewide

PRIMARY ACTORS KEY PARTNERS

    Health Department Housing Agency

     Code or Building Inspection Agency

     Community-based Organizations

     Property Owners

     Tenants

CRITICAL ELEMENTS

    Staff requirements: States that already have EPA-authorized certification programs in place for lead

    abatement workers and supervisors, risk assessors, lead inspectors, and project designers will be able to add

    approval of certifications for LSTs with a nominal amount of staffing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1

    Building Blocks for Primary Prevention: Protecting Children from Lead-Based Paint Hazards Lead Safety and Healthy Homes Standards

    CERTIFY LEAD SAMPLING TECHNICIANS

    Other resource requirements: Training materials, testing material samples for practice in lead sampling.

    Institutional capacity required: In some states, the laws establishing EPA-authorized certification programs may need to be amended to accommodate LST certification. Elsewhere, agencies administering

    EPA-authorized programs will only need to promulgate regulations detailing LST certification requirements.

    Accredited training providers may need to develop LST training programs, but states should be able to

    approve their plan to use the EPA model course.

Cost considerations: Once a LST certification program is underway, the increased availability of lead dust

    testing will bring the cost of that service down significantly.

Timing issues: Assuming the statutory authority to certify LSTs is in place, as much as a year may be

    required to adopt regulations. Individuals typically are certified as LSTs for one or two years and can easily

    extend their certification through renewal.

    Feasibility of Implementation: High. Certifying LSTs as a free-standing discipline is readily achievable in states with EPA-authorized certification programs. In states not currently authorized by EPA to administer

    certification, sampling technicians who are certified by other states can perform non-abatement clearance in

    accordance with HUD regulations.

    POTENTIAL OBSTACLES/BARRIERS Confusion or perceived competitive interests may interfere in consideration of certifying LSTs. The benefits

    of diversifying and expanding capacity need to be communicated.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    N/A

    ILLUSTRATION OF STRATEGY IN PRACTICE

    In 2001, the State of Vermont promulgated regulations that permit the licensing of lead sampling technicians,

    completing a process that took roughly one year. Candidates are required to attend a five-hour training

    course designed to give them hands-on experience in conducting visual assessments and taking dust wipe

    samples, as well as sample submission, lab results interpretation, and other skills. To obtain a license,

    candidates must pass an exam at the end of the course. Lead sampling technician licenses must be renewed

    annually. For technicians working for private firms, the license fee is $150 per year; however, public

    employees and employees of non-profit organizations that are not working commercially can have the fee

    waived. Licenses or certifications obtained in other states can also be used in Vermont. Lead sampling

    technicians in Vermont are allowed to perform a well-defined set of dutiesthey can conduct clearance

    testing following interim controls, renovations, remodeling, and ongoing maintenance. Sampling technicians

    cannot perform clearance testing after an abatement project or conduct random dust wipe sampling in

    multifamily properties.

    Jurisdiction or Target Area: Vermont

Primary Actor: Vermont Department of Health

Secondary Actor(s): N/A

Staffing utilized: No new staff was required for the implementation of this strategy. Staff at the Vermont

    Health Department expended between thirty and forty hours making the needed changes in the Vermont

    Regulations for Lead Control. Since the adoption of these changes in 2001, no additional staff time has been

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2

    Building Blocks for Primary Prevention: Protecting Children from Lead-Based Paint Hazards Lead Safety and Healthy Homes Standards

    CERTIFY LEAD SAMPLING TECHNICIANS needed, since the licensing process is integrated into the existing system of licensing asbestos and lead

    professionals.

Other resources utilized: N/A

Factors essential to implementation: The mandates for clearance testing following lead-safe renovation

    and remodeling.

    Limitations/challenges/problems encountered: None.

Magnitude of Impact/Potential Impact: Since 2001, approximately 50 lead sampling technicians have

    been licensed in the state of Vermont. Technicians have come from a number of sectors, including local

    government agencies, community-based organizations, and private industry.

    Potential for replication: The potential for replication is high.

Contacts for Specific Information

    Vernon Nelson Ron Rupp

    Vermont Department of Health Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

    802-865-7784 802-828-2912

    vnelson@vdh.state.vt.us rrupp@vhcb.state.vt.us

References for additional information

    1. Vermont Regs. for Lead Control, Rules 4.3.3.I. and 9.4.

    www.healthyvermonters.info/rules/VRLCFINAL0912.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 3

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