16 CFR § 1303.5 - Findings.

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§ 1303.5 Findings.

(a) The degree and nature of the risk of injury.

(1) The Commission finds that the risk of injury which this regulation is designed to eliminate or reduce is lead poisoning in children. The adverse effects of this poisoning in children can cause a range of disorders such as hyperactivity, slowed learning ability, withdrawal, blindness, and even death. The final Environmental Impact Statement on Lead in Paint which is on file with the President's Council on Environmental Quality (and available for inspection in the Office of the Secretary) contains in appendix A a detailed discussion of the health effects of lead in paint. These effects will only be summarized here.

(2) Lead is a cumulative toxic heavy metal which, in humans, exerts its effects on the renal, hematopoietic, and nervous systems. Newer concepts indicate that there are three stages to childhood lead poisoning. The adverse health effects in the first stage are not clinically present but metabolic changes can be observed. During the second stage or symptomatic stage such symptoms as loss of appetite, vomiting, apathy, drowsiness, and inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements occur. The after effects of this stage include seizure disorders as well as various behavioral and functional disorders which are often included under the heading of minimal brain dysfunction. Studies suggest that this syndrome may include hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, prolonged reaction time, perceptual disorders and slowed learning ability. The adverse health effects of the third stage may be permanent and can include blindness, mental retardation, behavior disorders, and death.

(3) The Commission notes that children with pica are of special concern with regard to lead poisoning. Pica, the repetitive ingestion of nonfood substances, occurs in 50 percent of children between the ages of one and three, and studies indicate that at this age lead is absorbed more rapidly than lead is absorbed in adults. Pica for paint is believed to be episodic and can occur 2 to 3 times a week.

(4) The Commission also notes that there are no reports of injuries caused by lead paint poisoning in the Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data, which reflect hospital emergency room treatment. Lead paint poisonings result from a chronic hazard rather than from an acute hazard of the type generally treated in emergency rooms; and NEISS reporting, therefore, does not reflect this type of chronic hazard or injuries.

(5) Former U.S. Surgeon-General Jesse L. Steinfeld, however, estimated in 1971 that 400,000 pre-school American children have elevated body lead burdens. The National Bureau of Standards in 1972 estimated that 600,000 young children have unduly high lead blood content.

(b) Products subject to this ban.

(1) The products banned by this rule are listed in § 1303.4.

(2) The term paint comprises a variety of coating materials such as interior and exterior household paints, varnishes, lacquers, stains, enamels, primers, and similar coatings formulated for use on various surfaces. Based on 1976 data, the Commission estimates that over 400 million gallons of paint a year valued at approximately $2.5 billion could potentially be subject to this rule.

(3) All products commonly known as toys and other articles intended for the use of children are subject to this rule. The categories of products within this classification are numerous and include items and equipment for play, amusement, education, physical fitness, and care of children. Retail sales in 1976 of products considered to be toys or other articles intended for use of children are estimated at around $4 billion.

(4) For the purposes of this rule, furniture articles are certain movable articles used to support people or things or other functional or decorative furniture articles such as couches, beds, tables, chairs, chests, and the like. Appliances and similar equipment, household fixtures, and certain other household items such as window shades, blinds, wall hangings, and the like are not included within the definition of furniture. The regulation applies to furniture for use in households, schools, in recreation, or otherwise. In 1972, the value of shipments of items of furniture such as those named above was as follows: wood household furniture $2,716 million; metal household furniture $859 million; wood television and radio cabinets $293 million; and $190 million for other household furniture made of plastic, reed and rattan. (Not included in the above are some $2 billion worth of upholstered furniture and $300 million in convertible sofas, chair beds and studio couches.)

(c) Need of the public for the products and effects of the rule on their utility, cost, and availability.

(1) The public need for paints of various types and for furniture and other articles is substantial and well established. The Commission finds that the need of the public for paint containing more than 0.06 percent lead or for the affected products that are coated with materials containing more than 0.06 percent lead is limited. The Commission has determined that there are products containing more than the 0.06 percent level of lead which meet a public need and for which substitutes are either not available or are not sufficiently effective and to which access by children to the coatings or the surfaces to which they are applied is unlikely. Accordingly, these products have been specifically exempted from the scope of the regulation in § 1303.3.

(2) The Commission finds that the effects of this rule on the cost, utility, and availability of paints and painted articles will be small. The Commission notes that over 95 percent of latex-based and nearly 70 percent of oil-based paints have lead levels at or below the level set by part 1303.

(i) Costs. The Commission estimates that the added costs to the consumer for paints affected by this rule will not exceed 5 to 10 cents per gallon. Costs to consumers for furniture and for toys and other articles intended for the use of children are not expected to increase as the result of compliance with the regulation.

(ii) Utility. The Commission finds that for water-based or latex paints and coatings subject to this rule, reducing the amount of allowable lead to 0.06 percent will not have adverse effects on their utility. For certain solvent-thinned coatings, however, lead driers will have to be replaced by non-lead driers such as zirconium to comply with the 0.06 percent level (Driers are not used in latex paints). An impact on the paint industry may result because current nonlead driers may not dry satisfactorily in low temperatures or high humidity conditions, and so the painting industry in some areas at certain times of the year may suffer a reduction of effective painting time.

(iii) Availability. Substitutes at comparable prices are available for paints and for products banned by this rule. The Commission believes that the reduction of lead to a level of 0.06 percent will not affect the availabilty of water-based or latex paints. Sales of such coatings currently exceed sales of solvent-based coatings, and because of the drying problem mentioned above, the trend toward increased use of water-based paints may be accelerated somewhat by the effects of the ban.

(d) Alternatives.

(1) The Commission has considered other means of achieving the objective of this rule, but has found none that would cause less disruption or dislocation of manufacturing and other commercial practices, consistent with public health and safety.

(2) The Commission estimates that this ban may, because of testing costs and the necessity for improved housekeeping practices in the manufacture of paint and similar surface-coating materials to prevent lead contaimination, have some relatively minor adverse effect on individual firms within some markets.

(3) The Commission, however, finds that competition will not be adversely affected by this rule. Although costs of reformulation and testing may be relatively higher for small manufacturers than large manufacturers, these costs are not so onerous as to lead to greater concentration in the industry. The period of time before the effective date is sufficient to minimize problems of compliance with the rule.

(4) The reduction of the permissible level of lead in paint will affect paint manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, professional and non-professional painters, and manufacturers of furniture and children's articles. For those producers of paint which are already subject to the regulations under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), the impact of this CPSA ban will involve only a change to non-lead driers since lead pigments are precluded from practical use under the 0.5 percent lead restriction now in effect under the FHSA (16 CFR 1500.17(a)(6)). The manufacturers of some painted furniture who were not affected by the 0.5 percent limit under the FHSA may now be, if they use lead pigments or driers. Producers of children's articles who were subject to the 0.5 percent FHSA limit will have to ensure that the paint they use conforms to the 0.06 percent level.

(e) Conclusion. The Commission finds that this rule, including its effective date, is reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce the unreasonable risk of lead poisoning of young children that is associated with the banned products which are described in § 1303.4 and that promulgation of the rule is in the public interest.