EPA Updates Lead Paint Safety Standards

Aug. 12, 2010
New rule requires lead-safe practices in all pre-1978 buildings.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently enacted a Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) for contractors to follow when doing renovations on lead-based painted homes, schools, and childcare facilities. Now, all contractors performing renovation, repair, or painting work in housing, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must follow lead-safe work practice requirements. 

The new rule removes a provision from existing regulations that allowed owner-occupants of pre-1978 properties to “opt-out” of having their contractors follow lead-safe work practices if there were no children under six years of age on the premise. These new regulations are intended to minimize the risk of toxic lead-based paint disturbance, regardless is children are present or not.

Sanding, cutting, and chipping during renovation projects create a large amount of dust and paint chips that are proven to be hazardous to adults, children, and pets. The RRP Rule establishes regulations for containment, dust minimization, and thorough cleanup to reduce these risks. The regulations apply to any maintenance workers, renovation contractors, painters, or other specialty workers doing professional renovations.

The lead safe certification process is simple. Individuals or companies can undergo an 8-hour training program with an EPA-approved trainer, and then apply for a Lead-Safe Certificate, says Chris Zorzy, whose company, LeadSafe Video Solutions, provides Lead-Safe training. “Many of the precautions currently used by contractors, with a little extra diligence and attention, will suffice to meet the work regulations.”

For more information on gaining Lead-Safe Certification, visit www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm.

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