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Best Practices in Preventing Lead Poisoning

  • • Select areas of communities where housing may likely contain lead-based paints and develop programs to protect children from lead poisoning.
  • • Determine from blood tests if children within the target area have elevated lead blood levels, which has now been set at 5 pg of lead/dL of blood, and provide necessary medical treatment plus appropriate removal of lead-based paints from the surfaces if the families cannot move to other quarters.
  • • Frequently remove dust including lead dust, paint chips, soil, and debris from the premises by using dust-free cleaning techniques.
  • • Educate the children in schools about the potential for lead poisoning and teach them to wash their hands thoroughly, wipe their feet after coming in from the outside and send home educational material to their parents in multiple languages if necessary concerning the dangers of lead.
  • • Teach parents when they attend public health clinics about the sources of lead poisoning, the symptoms that the children will be showing, and how to prevent the problem from occurring and where to get necessary help if the child is having problems.
  • • Use community-developed and community-based prevention/intervention strategies by community leaders to teach residents about the severe results of lead ingestion by children.
  • • Do not disturb paint surfaces that are intact.
  • • If a child shows that he/she is one that regularly puts unusual objects into the mouth, immediately seek medical assistance to determine if there is a lead-associated health problem.

Mold

Mold is a highly significant public health problem within the indoor environment of all structures. It may cause discomfort or worse, including allergic reactions, asthma, respiratory problems, or forms of pneumonia. The mold whether dead or alive may become airborne and be inhaled by the individuals and workers removing it, and is especially a problem for children. Moisture of any sort when allowed to persist is the underlying support needed for mold growth. Dust within the premises may contain mold and readily become airborne.

Best Practices for Prevention and Removal of Mold

  • • Determine the extent of and rapidly correct the underlying moisture problems.
  • • Repair or replace all damaged building materials and contents.
  • • Establish a routine maintenance schedule to determine if there are any leaking pipes, leaking equipment, or potential leaks in the roof or around windows and doors.
  • • Remove all fungal contaminated material including the mold contaminants in dust in a safe and effective manner.
  • • Use appropriate personal protective equipment while removing mold contaminants.
  • • For porous materials such as carpet, upholstery, etc., bag or wrap in plastic and discard appropriately and then clean with HEPA vacuum cleaners to remove dust.
  • • For semi-porous materials such as solid wood furniture, resilient floor coverings, etc., use HEPA vacuuming, damp cleaning with soap, water, and disinfectant such as chlorine compounds, and then dry thoroughly.
  • • For non-porous materials such as metal, ceramic tile, porcelain, etc., use HEPA vacuuming, damp cleaning with a detergent solution and rapid drying. (See endnote 40.)

Noise

(See endnote 41)

Environmental noise, which is unwanted sound, is found in many areas of the community. It is created on the highways, by railroads, by airplanes, and many other sources especially through construction. It may interfere with sleep, concentration, communications, and various activities of normal life. Hearing impairment is a frequent result of too much noise. The cardiovascular system may be disturbed and there may be an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and constriction of blood vessels. Mental health may be affected and in severe cases the noise may exacerbate problems of hysteria and even psychosis. The ability to perform various tasks can be impaired by excess noise. Even at best, noise can be simply annoying and distracting. Those most affected may be individuals with a variety of existing acute and chronic diseases, hospital patients, fetuses, infants, young children, and the elderly.

The frequency and severity of the problem grows with an increase in population and urbanization. Home noises include lawnmowers, leaf blowers, garbage disposals, washers and dryers, air conditioners, swimming pool pumps, etc. Toys can be a considerable source of noise irritation. Blaring television sets or pounding radios can create enormous distractions and cause harm. Unfortunately, the accumulative effects of these noises from a variety of sources cannot be dealt with by regulations because it would affect the rights of individuals to operate the equipment any time they want to do so. It is only possible to control the level of noise coming from individual pieces of equipment and thereby regulate them.

Best Practices for Preventing and Mitigating Noise Problems in Residential Areas and Structures

  • (See endnotes 42, 43)
  • • Develop and enforce noise control laws that utilize the most recent scientific data on the potential for affecting the health of the public.
  • • Establish noise control emission standards for road and off-road vehicles, equipment and industrial plants, and conduct noise monitoring to enforce the standards.
  • • Reduce speed limits in residential areas as well as around hospitals, and other healthcare facilities and those for the aging.
  • • Phase in appropriate new technologies for engines and road surfaces in order to reduce road noise.
  • • Establish specific roads for use by heavy trucks and other noisy vehicles outside of residential areas.
  • • Reduce railway noise at the source by appropriate maintenance of the rails and wheels of the trains. Mandate rubber wheels where possible.
  • • Reduce aircraft noise by utilizing the latest technology for aircraft and by altering takeoff and landing patterns, especially at night. The regulations would have to be set and enforced by federal authorities.
  • • Reduce noise from machines and equipment by replacing older equipment and utilizing proper preventive maintenance programs.
  • • Enforce community ordinances against individuals who have extremely loud music in automobiles. This should be a priority police function especially in quiet neighborhoods.
  • • For outdoor events instead of using a few very large speakers utilize numerous smaller speakers, and distribute them appropriately throughout the audience.
  • • Conduct a community-wide noise survey to determine hotspots where noise levels exceed those that are recognized as maximum for the health and safety of the public and act upon these areas initially.
  • • Reduce noise levels within communities and structures to the lowest possible level using cost-effective methods within specific situations and charge the polluter with the full cost of noise pollution including monitoring, management, lowering noise levels and supervision if the individual or company refuses to do so.
  • • Reduce noise levels at the source wherever possible by proper land-use planning and determining in advance through use of Environmental Impact Statements the sources, frequency, quantity and time of day of potential noise, and prevent or mitigate the problem.
  • • For indoor noise from various types of equipment, establish a routine maintenance program and replace older equipment with newer equipment.
  • • Sound proof ceilings, walls, doors, and windows within the structure to reduce noise levels.
  • • Establish a special noise control ordinance for indoor areas and develop a noise complaint program where individuals can contact an official agency in the event of excessive noise from neighbors or other sources.
  • • Develop educational programs to teach the public about the health impacts of noise and how to minimize sound levels by use of earplugs, earmuffs and proper insulation in structures, and use of sound reduction materials within buildings.
 
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