Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Jacksonville’s older rentals, EPA checks warnings on lead paint risks

In Jacksonville's older neighborhoods, an old worry - lead paint - is drawing attention from the federal government.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the operators of four Jacksonville apartment complexes and a house-management company last year after concluding they violated a law that says property owners must tell tenants about any evidence of lead paint.

The last case was finalized in December.

EPA doesn't know whether tenants at any of those buildings were ever exposed to decaying paints. But it will send inspectors to as many as 175 rental offices around the Southeast each year to audit lease records for disclosure forms that are supposed to be signed by tenants at any property built before 1978.

"Understand that this is a public health issue," said Anthony Toney, chief of the lead and children's health section at EPA's regional office in Atlanta.

Lead poisoning can hurt a child's brain development and cause neurological problems that can persist as the child grows up. Adults are less vulnerable but can also be harmed by chronic overexposure at high levels. Read Article Here

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