Volume 11, Issue 2 - March 2010

Letter To The Editor

Article About Lead inn Hardware Prompts Concern

Dear Editor,

Recently there appeared an article in DWM titled “Lead Paint Warning – Time to Prepare for Big Changes” (January/February 2010). Due to a number of misleading and erroneous comments made in this story we feel obligated to set the record straight.

While the importance of the EPA’s new Renovation, Repair and Paint (RRP) program certainly deserves attention by our industry, it is important that the facts surrounding this regulation are clearly understood and not misconstrued. This article started out on the right track as it shared that this program is meant to educate contractors who work in pre-1978 housing who might disturb painted surfaces where lead paint is present. Please note that the EPA is very clear on this: the RRP is addressing the dust created from the disturbance of lead paint (See: www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm).

What is unfortunate is that this article allowed an individual the opportunity to twist the subject of RRP for his own gain. He was allowed to create an impression that this EPA regulation aligned itself with the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which governs products specifically designed and intended for children 12 years of age or younger (i.e., children’s toys). The CSPC is very clear on the point that the CPSIA excludes doors and windows in these ratings (See: www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm).

The article allowed a manufacturer of plastic hardware products the opportunity to confuse the readers into believing that the RRP regulations were connected to the CPSIA’s ruling, which they clearly are not. The plastics manufacturer further suggested that hardware manufacturers using zinc in their products would not be able to meet these new requirements and that plastic/composite products would be the only ones which would allow window manufacturers to remain competitive and compliant, which is completely untrue. He went on to suggest that the amount of lead in zinc hardware was not “kid-safe.” Again, untrue.

While we can’t speak for others in our industry, Truth Hardware zinc conforms to ASTM standard B240-09, which sets the maximum allowable level of lead in this material at 40 ppm, well below that which is allowable for children’s toys. In addition, Truth Hardware’s paint process conforms to applicable governing regulations including those for lead content (90 ppm). These standards for Truth Hardware products meet all governing requirements for lead content.

To your readers we suggest the following. When confronted by claims that may create concern over your hardware decisions, or even those that impact your own product sales and the channels in which they are installed and used, we urge you to take the time to understand all the facts and don’t be confused or led astray by companies who try to capitalize on consumer fear or doubt for their own gain.

In closing I would just like to add, that by providing comments from only one supplier in this market, who clearly had an agenda, you have done a disservice to the door and window industry that relies on this information to be fair, accurate and pertinent to the issues at hand. We expect better from this publication.

Steve Groves
Senior VP of Sales, Marketing & Product Development
Truth Hardware


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