Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on how the Environmental Protection Agency is targeting home renovations as part of the front lines in combating toxic lead poisoning. “As many as 50% of all poisoning cases rest from some kind of renovation actives in homes,” Perry Cabot, lead specialist in Mulnomah County’s Public Health Department, told Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The EPA has been trying to combat lead poisoning in Oregon by tightening regulations on construction and painting companies. Lead paint was banned from homes in 1978, yet many abandoned homes continue to still be afflicted with lead paint which cause detrimental brain damage to children.

Anyone working on homes that old is supposed to follow those steps because of the potential health risks of lead exposure. Lead can impair the neurological development of children and damage the health of adults.

The state offers training and certification for professional builders and hobbyists alike. Contractors are expected to do the training and get lead licenses, if they’re going to work on older homes.

One problem facing the state is that licensed or certified workers go through an eight hour training program on how to combat lead, but a loophole in Oregon’s current system unfairly fines licensed contractors over unlicensed contractors for lead testing violations.

As Oregon Public Broadcasting reports:

Recent records show that fines against Oregon contractors without lead licenses top out at $1,000. Licensed contractors found violating the lead rules received fines in the last two years as high as $9,000.

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