After nearly two years of public lobbying, Delaware became the first state in the nation to pass a law banning the use of lead-based paint outdoors. Though lead-based paint has been banned in housing since 1978 (which is often interpreted to mean on the exterior of housing, as well), outdoor use on other structures is not well regulated, particularly on bridges and water towers and in industrial settings. The Delaware bill bans the application of lead-based paints on all outdoor structures, in order to protect public health.
The bill, titled HB-546, received broad support from a coalition of public officials and interest groups and was unanimously passed by the state House of Representatives and the Senate. The Review reports that the campaign is the first step in more broad action against lead paint.
"We want to be aware of what has happened here [in Delaware], because a federal ban on lead paint would protect all states," Newark resident and campaign spearhead Amy W. Roe. "But first, we need other states to do this themselves because the federal government takes a while to get things done."
“It seemed like a no-brainer,” Slater [Delaware’s Public Advocate] said. “My first thought was ‘Really, we don’t already ban this stuff outside?’