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(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Caridad Rodriguez and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. sponsored to help protect against lead poisoning from improper paint removal was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.

The bill (A-938) would require retailers who sell paint or other supplies intended for the removal of paint to display posters warning of lead poisoning that could result from the improper removal of paint.

“This is a simple step to make sure it’s clear to everyone that dry sanding and dry scraping of paint in dwellings built before 1978 is dangerous,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The long-term health impacts of lead poisoning are both terrible and costly to taxpayers, so informing consumers is quite simply common sense.”

“Lead exposure can be harmful to individuals of all ages, but is especially damaging to children, fetuses and women of childbearing age,” said Rodriguez (D-Hudson). “The effects of lead poisoning may occur gradually and imperceptibly, showing no obvious symptoms, but we know it can lead to learning disabilities, growth impairment, permanent hearing and visual impairment and other damage to the brain and nervous system.”

The Department of Health and Senior Services shall provide sample poster forms for use by retailers. The department shall make these posters available via download from the department’s Internet website.

“Lead paint was banned from residential use in 1978, but we continue to face a significant health hazard from improperly managed lead-based paint, especially in many of our urban areas with older buildings,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Asking retailers to post an informational sign downloadable from a state Web site is quite simply the right thing to do for our consumers and public health.”

At a minimum, the signs must:

· Warn that dry sanding or scraping of paint from dwellings built before 1978 is dangerous;

· Warn that improper removal of old paint is a significant source of lead dust and the primary cause of lead poisoning; and

· Provide contact information where consumers can obtain more information.

The bill was released by the Assembly Consumers Affairs Committee and now goes to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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