Lead Paint Safety – EPA Rule

This news may hit you like a ton of lead. It’s new, in effect as of April 22, 2010, and it’s information that is vital to plans to do any remodeling to your home. If I, as a Contractor, remodel your interior, and need to disturb more than just 6 sqft of a painted surface, I may be required to comply with a new Federal Rule regarding lead paint dust. The Rule may apply if 20 sqft of exterior painted surface is disturbed. If your home was built before 1978, and if lead paint is detected, Environmental Protection Agency lead safety work practices must be followed for Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP). HUD requirements for federally assisted housing are similar to those in the EPA Rule with some exceptions.

Now actually, following RRP lead safety work practices may be beneficial to the health of both you, the homeowner, and me, the Contractor, regardless of the home’s age, if lead paint is detected. Lead has been proven to be a major health risk, especially to children and pregnant women. In children, lead damages the brain and central nervous system; can cause decreased intelligence, reading and learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and hyperactivity. Lead in pregnant women damages the fetus. Lead is hazardous to workers and other adults, causing high blood pressure, loss of sex drive and/or capability, and physical fatigue. Lead exposure causes permanent damage.

Knowing the house was built before 1978, I must provide you with a special EPA pamphlet titled “Renovate Right: Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” at least 7 days before starting work. You must give me a signed form declaring that you have read and understand the pamphlet information. Then I, David Taylor Remodeling, an EPA Certified Renovator under the Rule, must test to determine if lead paint may be present at the work area. Third, if lead paint is determined present at the work area, the Contractor must then use specialized “lead-safe work practices” in performing the job. This means using specialized protective clothing, equipment, procedures, documentation, and clearance testing to perform and complete the work.

Renovation dust must be contained for both interior and exterior work. The use of certain tools is prohibited while the use of other specialized tools is required. Accepted cleaning and disposal practices are required. Cleaning testing and verification must be performed. All phases of the renovation in compliance with the Rule must be documented with recordkeeping.

The idea is to reduce or eliminate the risk of inhaling or ingesting lead paint dust resulting from the work. Only contractors that are trained and EPA-licensed Certified Renovators registered with the State of Utah, and their specially trained crews, are allowed to perform lead-safe work practices.

The problem is that it is often impossible to determine if a job will or will not require the use of lead-safe work practices, until the work area has been tested for lead paint, especially if the home’s age is uncertain. The manufacture and sale of leaded paint was banned in 1978, but there was certainly some residual lead paint used by contractors, painters, and homeowners after that time. It may be prudent for any homeowner to have painted surfaces tested. Testing requires an EPA approved test kit, and has to be done by a Certified Renovator.

To limit liability, the Contractor requires a homeowner’s signed verification of the home’s age. Also, HUD or other governmental assistance must be disclosed. The age of a home may be determined by methods such as public land records, multiple listing services, private real estate postings, foreclosure notices, tax assessor records, deed records, etc. If the age of the home is somewhat in doubt, lead testing is the best recourse to cover the homeowner’s health and the Contractor’s liability. EPA has the authority to seek civil fines of $32,500 per offense and an additional criminal fine of $32,500 plus jail time for knowing and willful violations of the RRP Rule. For more lead safety information, visit http://www.epa.gov/lead.

Offering all residential remodeling services from design to finish carpentry, David Taylor Remodeling has over 30 years experience in the Salt Lake City area. We offer customization at the highest level. Specialist in kitchens, bathrooms; custom door, window, skylight installation.  http://www.davidtaylorremodeling.com/

 
11th November, 2010   Inline
 

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