You’ve finally made the decision to finally remodel the outdated kitchen and family room of your home. Yeah!
But if you live in a house built before 1978, a federal law regulating the removal of lead paint may affect your home remodeling project. In 1978, the use of lead paint was officially banned from residential construction. Before that, however, lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Beginning in April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
The Dangers of Lead Paint During a renovation or remodel, dust from lead paint removal can fill the air and be breathed in or small children could ingest lead paint chips that fall from the wall. For young children, lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, hearing loss and behavior problems. In adults, lead poisoning can lead to hypertension and high blood pressure. Pregnant women run the risk of passing the poison on to their unborn child. It is important that you find a remodeler who is trained in lead-safe work practices rather than try to do the work yourself.
To ensure the safety of the home’s occupants, the EPA’s new regulation requires that any major renovation to homes built before 1978 must be performed by a certified lead safe remodeler or renovator employed with a certified lead safe company.
What are Lead-Safe Work Practices?
EPA has a free brochure on their website called “Renovate Right”, which provides guidance to homeowners and contractors about the safe removal of lead paint. Your contractor should follow the specific work practices prescribed by the EPA RRP Rule. Renovate Right Brochure
Who needs this?
Anyone who is doing work for compensation on a home or child occupied facility built pre‐1978 that is… Replacing window(s) (It does not matter if replacement does not fall into square feet requirements below, window(s) are always included). Disturbing more than 6 square feet of interior painted or coated lead contaminated surfaces. Disturbing more than 20 square feet of exterior painted or coated lead contaminated surfaces.
What do contractors need to do?
Certification is simple and quick for firms intending to comply.
- Certify your Firm.
- Pay a fee of $300 to EPA for a 2 year certification.
- Complete a renovator training course accredited by EPA or an EPA authorized program which will teach you how to work lead safe.
- Certify the individual that has taken the Lead Safe Renovator Course.
Remember Three Key Points
- Set up the job site safely.
- Minimize dust on the job
- Clean up carefully and completely
What are the responsibilities of the “Lead Safe Renovator”?
- Each renovation project must have a certified Lead‐Safe Renovator in charge.
- The lead safe renovator is responsible for training employees on how to work lead safe.