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Seminar will focus on lead-paint safety

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Commission is moving forward with plans to host a lead-based paint safe work practices class for local contractors.

If at least 10 contractors enroll, the class will be in the Hays area on a Saturday in April or May, said Corina Cox, representative of NKPDC.

"Contractors now have to travel to K.C. or Wichita for this training," Cox said. "I just need a few more participants."

Larry Hopkins of Baker Environmental Consulting Inc., Lenexa, will teach the class for contractors, allowing them to comply with Kansas renovation, repair and painting rules.

Since 2010, all individuals involved in construction-related activity, including landlords, carpenters, roofers, painters, sheet-rockers, remodelers, HVAC personnel, electricians, plumbers, carpet installers, etc., are required to receive training for lead-safe work practices from an accredited training provider.

The goal of the renovation, repair and painting rules is to limit the spread of lead contaminated dust and lead contaminated soil. Most dusts and soils are contaminated from deteriorated lead paint on buildings and homes, and can be released into the environment during renovation processes, creating hazardous lead dust and paint chips.

"Careful work practices and thorough cleanup will help assure that renovations can be done safely," Hopkins said. "Lead can easily affect children, especially those under the age of 6, and even in small dosages, can lead to learning disabilities, attention disorders and organ damage."

Although lead can be removed from the body, damage to organs is permanent and irreversible.

Cost for the class is $150 per participant.

For more information or to enroll in the class, email Cox at nwkcorina@ruraltel.net.