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A top state public health official told a House of Representatives study committee on Monday that Georgia should require a full clearance inspection after a lead abatement inspection.

Currently, according to Christy Kuriatnyk, director of the Georgia Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, all that’s required is a visual inspection.

“You can’t see lead dust,” Kuriatnyk told the House study committee on childhood lead exposure.

Kuriatnyk also recommended the state should increase the length of time a landlord must submit a lead abatement plan from 14 to 30 days; and require landlords to submit a letter the property will no longer be used as a dwelling, if that is the intent.

Another recommendation: if a landlord does not disclose a home has the potential for lead hazards and such hazards are found, then tenants can void their lease.

“We are making recommendations that keep pace with science,” Kuriatnyk said.

Lead abatement, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is designed to eliminate lead-based paint hazards. Abatement is sometimes ordered by a state or local government, and can involve specialized techniques not typical of most residential contractors.

The committee was formed via a special Georgia General Assembly resolution. Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) chairs the committee, which was designed to study early intervention and prevention of childhood lead exposure. According to the legislature, lead paint is present in one-third of the nation’s homes, particularly older residences.

Monday’s meeting was the second held by the committee, the first being Sept. 2. At that meeting, Dempsey said the committee was created to study the impact of lead in children’s bloodstreams.

“In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its lead recommendations, and Georgia has not updated” its standards, Dempsey said earlier this month.

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