EPA’S LEAD PAINT RULE AFFECTS REMODELERS, PROPERTY MANAGERS, ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, HVAC INSTALLERS, PAINTERS, SIDING COMPANIES AND MOST ALL SUBCONTRACTORS
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all contractors to be EPA certified and to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination when working in homes and housing units, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978. These rules were created in order to prevent dangerous lead paint exposure, which can affect children’s brains and nervous systems and cause high blood pressure in adults.
The rule applies to any contractor who “disturbs” at least six square feet of painted surface on the inside of a home or 20 square feet on the outside. That means that contractors who install windows, insulation, home entertainment equipment or similar items in the target housing must become certified to do the work.”
According to the EPA’s website, the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) includes pre-renovation education requirements as well as training, certification, and work practice requirements. The Pre-renovation education requirements are currently in effect and require lead pamphlets to be distributed before starting any renovation work in facilities built before 1978. The requirements for training, certification, and work practice rules went into effect April 22, 2010. Renovators and firms are required to be certified by completing a training course conducted by an EPA approved training firm. Employees must be trained in the use of lead-safe work practices and must follow these specific practices which minimize occupants’ exposure to lead hazards. Any activity that disturbs painted surfaces greater than 6 square feet per room inside or more than 20 square feet on the exterior of the home or building fall under this regulation. Activities include most repair, remodeling, and maintenance activities – including window replacement and building demolition. Specific examples of activities include electrical work, plumbing, painting, carpentry, and window replacement, among others. There are additional requirements for signage, recordkeeping, and record retention. The RRP Rule and specific requirements are posted on the EPA’s website www.epa.gov/lead .
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided the following resources on lead-safe remodeling practices. Link them to your website or newsletter to spread the message about hiring remodelers who are certified to handle lead paint in houses.
Remodelers are required to distribute this EPA brochure to their customers before the work is even started.
Report a Violation
EPA is counting on consumers to report violations of the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule. If you suspect that an uncertified contractor is working in your neighborhood, call 800-424-LEAD or fill out the online reporting form.