(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Lead is a toxic substance and harmful to the citizens of this state;
(2) Lead poisoning is a devastating health hazard, particularly to young children, and results in serious long-term health effects;
(3) Children exposed to even low levels of lead exhibit learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and neurological damage;
(4) Workers and others who come into contact with lead when removing or remediating lead based materials are also at risk of lead poisoning;
(5) Exposure occurs from contact with materials containing lead, including, but not limited to, lead-based paint chips, lead dust, and lead-contaminated soil;
(6) The most significant source of exposure is lead-based paint, particularly in houses built prior to one thousand nine hundred seventy-eight;
(7) The danger posed by lead-based paint hazards can be controlled by abatement or interim controls that limit exposure to lead-based paint hazards; and
(8) The public health and safety of this state will be better protected when all persons who handle lead-contaminated substances are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable regarding safe methods of handling and disposing of such materials.
(b) Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to protect the health of the children of the state and those who undertake remediation of the lead health hazard by establishing guidelines for the assessment and removal of lead hazards from homes and other buildings where children are frequently present and exposed to the danger of lead poisoning.