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the lead dryers as well as the pigments. The removal of lead dryers affects the manufacturing process, and the performance of the products, and there are no satisfactory substitutes in many cases that are available for industry to use in this area.
Senator KENNEDY. What is a lead dryer in layman's terms?
Senator KENNEDY. If you don't have a lead dryer in there, paint doesn't dry?
Mr. Roland. This is correct. Let me make this point. A pure water based paint, or a pure latex paint does not need a lead dryer, essentially, but for example, the Commonwealth of Virginia defines latex paint as anything that has up to 50 percent of an oleoresinous base in it.
This is the resin, or binder if you will. Now, a high percentage of what is considered a latex or a water base paint, the kind you wash the paint brush out with water, has a modified oil in it.
To the degree it uses some oil, it may require a lead type dryer.
Senator KENNEDY. But you can get from the interior-of course, we are not interested in industrial paints—but in the interior paints, can you reach that .06?
Mr. ROLAND. The experience of industry, and I think most of the communications we have provided on this will show this that the percentage of lead dryer in products that require it range from .1 up to about .6, .5 at the maximum level, so it is in that level that the lead dryer is affected as a percentage of the dry paint film. So this is why we say when you go to .06, you are eliminating lead dryer, which is one of the only types of dryers that provides what we call through dry, that is, if a paint film does not dry from the inside out uniformly, what will happen is that it will wrinkle and it will dry in a crazed fashion, and this may lead to greater peeling.
Senator KENNEDY. Is the state of the art-do some manufacturers like du Pont, have they been able to, through their research and the extraordinary amount they are able to put into research, which smaller companies obviously can't, have they been able to develop a technique to do that job?
Mr. ROLAND. This is the question you mentioned earlier, and I will comment on it this way: The use of a lead dryer by du Pont or any other company, and there are some here that have that type of a system as well, is essentially a pure latex type product.
Du Pont has committed themselves in the market to go to this kind of a system essentially. It does not meet all the market requirements. Du Pont itself in exterior products had to use some type of dryer.
Senator KENNEDY. The thing I am asking is, you know, particularly if they have been able to develop that technique and we are in a situation where we are trying to legislate on it, you know, how much of a competitive advantage does it give du Pont to have that technique ?
Mr. ROLAND. I am pleased to say that no company in the industry has literally used this as a competitive advantage. They have manufactured their product, and we are talking about products, not commodities, in the way they think is best for their method of going to market, and their products' performance.
Senator KENNEDY. But there is no sort of secret in terms of that? Does everybody understand the du Pont procedure?
Mr. ROLAND. It is not a question of proprietary information or patent secrets. This is formulation work more than anything else.
Senator KENNEDY. So they have not got a technique that a small company does not know about?
Mr. ROLAND. They do have something that a small company does not have access to. I would like to ask Mr. Levine to comment on this if he wants to.
Mr. LEVINE. Senator, I would say that the large company has the advantage of manpower and resources to get certain essential tasks performed.
Senator KENNEDY. That is capital investment?
Senator KENNEDY. I am going to have to leave, but I hope as we move along on this, no matter where we end up, we can work very closely with you, and we are particularly interested in insuring that anything we do in terms of this committee does not provide an undue kind of burden to, I think, primarily the smaller companies and particularly disadvantaged them.
We are not interested here in trying to do that, but we want to, in terms of the public interest, if there is something that has to be done and the decision is made, I hope we can work with you in trying to reduce any impact that it has.
I look forward to your exchange here, and perhaps you want to elaborate on some of the points I made with you and I will review the testimony and we will have an open exchange anyway and some correspondence as we go through the legislation.
I want to thank you very much.
Mr. ROLAND. Thank you very much, and I assure you we will be willing to cooperate.
Senator PELL (presiding pro tempore). I understand you have not yet summarized your own testimony. Would you be able to do that? Your statements will be put in the record in full. If you care to, summarize it.
Mr. ROLAND. I will endeavor to summarize as best I can.
I appreciate this opportunity to be here today, accompanied by a representative group of executives from our industry, to present the views of the National Paint and Coatings Association on the legislative proposal, S. 3080, which would amend the Lead Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (Public Law 91-695). We are here because our members are vitally concerned over the major impact which one of the provisions of S. 3080 would have on the paint and coatings industry.
I refer to section 2 of the bill before your subcommittee today, which would change the definition of "lead-based paint” from the 1 percent established by Public Law 91–695 to an arbitrary 0.06 percent. We deem such an amendment not only to be unnecessary and unreasonable, but as I shall discuss in some detail later-highly inappropriate.
The National Paint and Coatings Association (formerly the National Paint, Varnish, and Lacquer Association) is a trade association representing the manufacturers of more than 90 percent of the dollar volume of paints, varnishes, lacquers, and allied products produced in the United States.
In addition, the National Paint and Coatings Association is a spokesman for the major suppliers of raw materials from which the industry's products are made. Industry sales amount to more than $5 billion annually at retail level, providing employment for more than 70,000 persons at the paint manufacturing level alone and more than 200,000 at the retail level.
At the outset, I want to so assure you that the association and the industry members we represent share your concern over the serious problem of lead poisoning of children which is occurring today in most metropolitan areas and we pledge our full support to continue to work to solve this serious problem.
However, I would emphasize that the amendment, proposed in section 2 of S. 3080, will do nothing toward correcting the present, identified, and real causes of lead poisoning of children today.
THE PROBLEM OF OLD LEAD-BASED PAINTS
In this regard, the major contribution of paint to the poisoning of children today was identified many years ago as the old lead-based paint which is flaking or peeling from the walls of dilapidated housing in the urban areas, particularly in the slum areas where maintenance has been neglected.
It is the pre-World War II housing that is most hazardous because more than 30 years ago the paint industry began eliminating these old heavily leaded paints, which often contained 50 percent or more basic carbonate of lead (white lead), a highly soluble and admittedly hazardous compound. These were, of course, the best quality paints produced at that time and the type prescribed by Government specifications.
As stated, the paint industry started phasing out white lead as a basic ingredient of interior paints more than 30 years ago, when titanium dioxide became commercially available.
It is no longer necessary, for economical, to use white lead in interior paints because 1 pound of titanium dioxide will cover the equivalent of 5 to 7 pounds of white lead, depending on the formulation. Interior paints then ceased to be a cause of lead poisoning.
Therefore with respect to old paint, the term lead based is appropriate, but with regard to modern paints, this is hardly accurate.
In those dwellings, particularly slum housing, where painting maintenance is minimal and/or even nonexistent and where housekeeping is below standard, chips of paint or paint impregnated plaster may be eaten by young children. This is recognized now as a principal cause of childhood lead poisoning, and according to medical experts, generally is associated with a condition known as pica--a compulsion to eat nonfood materials such as dirt, wood, paint chips and plaster.
When such children are living in old prewar housing in inner cities, they are exposed to the many coats of paint on the walls and woodwork which frequently contain significant amounts of white lead pigments.
Additionally, these children are exposed to greater lead pollution in the air and on the ground. Under such circumstances lead poisoning is most likely to occur.
What I am trying to highlight at this point—without debating whether or not modern paints might cause lead poisoning in the distant future to unborn children of unborn parents—is that the existing causes of lead poisoning of our children today have been identified.
These can be corrected if adequate funds are provided and if this effort is given priority attention by authorities in those jurisdictions where such conditions are most prevalent. We recognize, of course, that the sums of noney required to accomplish this task are very great, and as officials of the Department of Housing and Urban Development have commented on several occasions; Assistant Secretary Finger testifying Monday indicated that the present indications from the National Bureau of Standards may run as high as $70 billion in order to correct the existing walls and surfaces in this country that have the old lead base paint and so forth on them, this is a substantial figure, and of course it is only one of several problems of like magnitude that they face in the housing field.
We deem Federal financial assistance and technical guidance to local jurisdictions to be vital in this matter and by public announcements and letters to the Secretaries of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Housing and Urban Development, this association has urged that maximum funds be made available for these purposes.
We strongly support the funding provisions of section 3 of S. 3080 and concur that these additional funds should be authorized. We will continue to urge the Secretaries of HEW and HUD to include such funds in their budget requests and to utilize funds so appropriated for the purposes
intended. We consider it most unfortunate, however, that the subject of lead in modern paints seems to be getting more attention from the Congress, the Federal agencies and many public health officials than the real problem. The record will show that, ever since hearings were conducted by the House Banking and Currency Subcommittee on Housing in July 1970, the focus has been changed from the detection and elimination of the old lead based paints to the question of what future reduction in the amounts of lead used in modern paints should be made by the industry.
I turn now to the matter of vital concern to the paint industry, particularly to the large number of small manufacturers in our industry. I refer again to section 2 of S. 3080 which would change the definition of "lead based paint” (a misnomer) from 1 percent to 0.06 percent lead by weight (calculated as lead metal) in the total nonvolatile content of liquid paints or in the dried film of paint already applied.
Before proceeding, let me remind you that we no longer are talking about lead based paints, but we really are talking about small quantities of lead in paints. The manufacture of lead based paints, especially for interior surfaces, was discontinued more than 30 years ago.
Lead pigments, such as lead chromates, and lead molybdates, have been used to provide the popular bright colors-reds, yellows, greens, and oranges, and of course, lead compounds have been used, where appropriate, in corrosion resistant coatings because they are especially valuable for such uses.
The use of lead in corrosion resistant coatings today is not being questioned because it is recognized that these are essential to property maintenance and then no hazard to children exists from such uses.
However, lead pigments for colors and most other uses already have been largely discontinued in interior residential paints to insure that these products would not exceed the 1 percent level established some years ago by a voluntary standard and recently incorporated into Public Law 91-695. (It is my understanding that the implementing regulation-making this 1 percent level mandatory at the Federal level for the first time—are being published this week by HEW, in accordance with title IV of Public Law 91-695).
The voluntary standard just mentioned is USA Standard Z66. I which was developed in 1955, under the sponsorship of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to deal with the toxicity hazards which may be encountered through the ingestion of dried coatings on articles or surfaces accessible to children.
The standard was approved and reviewed by the American Standards Association (ASA) Section Committee on Prevention or Control of Hazards to Children.
The organization now is known as the American National Standards Institute.
This standard served as a pattern for the several statutes, regulations, and ordinances dealing with the subject, which were adopted by more than twenty jurisdictions between 1955 and 1970.
However, a sampling by New York City, under its health code, in the summer of 1971 indicated that not all manufacturers were adhering precisely to either the voluntary standard or the stated provisions of that code.
Although we believe there has been substantial compliance with the voluntary standard and a related labeling program, sponsored by our association, we have cooperated to the fullest extent in proper discussion initiated by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, looking to the establishment of regulations under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
Such regulations would make mandatory the prescribed levels of lead in modern paints and provide for requisite precautionary labeling. That is supported by 600 or more pages in this manual-NPULA labeling laws and regulations—that is provided to every member of the association, to assist them in complying with labeling requirements.
Subsequently on November 2, 1971, FDA published in the Federal Register a proposed regulation--a proposal to declare certain heavy metal containing paints and other surface coatings "Hazardous Substances" and to require special labeling for child protection--21 CFR part 191. As proposed, this would establish an 0.5 percent standard for lead in paints, a 50-percent reduction from the 1-percent voluntary standard which was incorporated in Public Law 91-695.
Our industry considered this to be a most important proposal and a progressive step by the Food and Drug Administration, an agency for which we have the highest regard and for which, in our opinion the record shows effective administration of its responsibilities and under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act since its enactment in 1960.
Our association announced publicly its support for this proposed regulation and urged membership support.
This regulation is still a waiting final action by the Food and Drug Administration because of the pressures for even further reductions in the use of lead in coating for toys, children's furniture, and interior