Get Ahead of New Lead Paint Regulations

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which took effect April 22, applies to projects undertaken by professionals at homes built before 1978 where paint is being disturbed.

Each violation of the rule is punishable by a fine of $37,500.The agency has done away with an “opt-out” provision that would have exempted homes where no pregnant women or children under age 6 live.

Keep reading for the need-to-knows about this new law.

  • Projects are to be performed by certified firms and the work done by certified individuals or others trained in the safety practices. Those measures include:
  • Posting warning signs outside the work area and sealing off the area from the residence’s occupants until post-demolition or renovation cleaning has been done to ensure the area is lead-free.
  • For inside renovations, covering all ducts. Furniture, windows and rugs must either be removed from a work area or covered with plastic sheeting and sealed. Workers, their tools and other items are to be free of dust before leaving a work area. Interior walls must be cleaned top to bottom.
  • For outside projects, covering the ground with plastic sheeting that extends 10 feet beyond the work area.
  • Prohibiting the use of power sanders, grinders and other tools that remove lead-based paint unless the machines are used with HEPA exhaust control.
  • Renovation firms must provide homeowners or the occupant of a property with a short, easy-to-read checklist that shows the workers were certified and the appropriate safety practices were observed. Companies do not have to provide a copy of a certified worker’s training certificate.

More information on the rule and the dangers of lead poisoning is available at the EPA’s web site. And be sure to use a certified renovator.

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