A free training designed to educate individuals about safely working with lead-based paint will be held in Baton Rouge.  The daylong training is the result of a cooperative agreement between the National Paint and Coatings Association, Inc. and 49 Attorneys General. 

The Lead-Safe Work Practices Training Program is set for Thursday, Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register for the class online at http://leadsafetraining.org or call toll-free 1-866-232-5419.  Call 504-568-5070 for locations or to find out about future trainings.

The goal of the training is to teach participants techniques of safely working with lead-based paint in older housing.  Instruction time will include lecture, discussion and hands-on exercises for an interactive learning experience. 

Anyone can attend the training but it is especially designed for those working in city and state housing agencies, community and social service organizations and realtors, painters, contractors and homeowners or property managers.   All participants will be offered discount “coupons” redeemable on purchases of tools that are important for conducting lead-safe work practices. This training will allow professionals as well as do-it-yourselfers to beautify their homes and neighborhoods without the environmental risks that often threaten the health of children and families.

Many children are poisoned from exposure to lead hazards.  Lead hazards are created when walls and other surfaces painted with lead-based paint, which is found in homes built before 1978, start to chip and peel.  The dust from this paint can be swallowed by young children, which may cause learning disabilities, brain and central nervous system damage and other physical effects.

There is a national goal to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010.  One way the Department of Health is helping to reach this is making sure that work practices are conducted safely and carefully.  As such, fewer children are at risk of being exposed to lead dust.

In 2003, more than 3,000 children under age six were identified with elevated blood lead levels in Louisiana.  In East Baton Rouge Parish, specifically, more than 100 children were affected by lead poisoning.  Some of the cases could have been prevented by safe renovations.

For more information on the lead training or for more information about lead poisoning, call the Louisiana Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 504-568-5070 or 1-800-242-3112.