Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra must set aside $1.1 billion for lead paint abatement and clean-up in California homes, a state superior court ruled yesterday.

California banned the use of lead paint in 1978. The ruling did not call for all lead paint to be removed from homes, but does require clean-up of lead paint on doors and windows. Usually painted over, particles from lead paint are released in friction during opening and closing.

Ten city and county governments filed a lawsuit 13 years ago against makers and distributors of lead paint. It is the first such suit to win a judgment against the producers of lead paint.

Lead abatement is a concern in closets and cabinetry remodeling projects. As of April 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires woodworkers and contractors working in homes built before 1978 to register their company and complete an 8-hour lead abatement training and certification course with an accredited trainer.

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