Most of you may be aware of the issues surrounding lead based paint in homes. If you are a homeowner one of the many papers you signed during the home buying process addressed the issue of the possibility of lead based paint in homes built prior to 1978. In fact, you signed a lead based paint disclosure even if your home was built after that time.
What many of you may not know is that the EPA has issued a new regulation regarding lead based paint and Residential Property Renovations. Under the new regulation, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 must be certified and MUST follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
Some facts about lead:
- Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavior problems. It is especially dangerous to children under the age of 6 but can be harmful to adults, too.
- Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead and is often invisible.
- Lead-based paint was used in almost 38 million homes until is was banned for residential use in 1978
- Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust.
How does this new regulation affect you?
- First and foremost it will be up to you as a homeowner, when hiring a contractor, to ask to see the contractors certification and find out what they will be doing to protect you and your family from exposure to potential lead contamination.
- For anyone with a home built before 1978 this regulation will almost certainly lead to higher prices for any renovations you may need. This regulation affects ALL contractors including plumbers, electricians, handymen and women, carpenters and painters. It is possible that a simple plumbing repair that requires the plumber to cut into your walls may require them to work under these special regulations.
- As a homeowner if you plan to do renovation projects yourself you are not required to follow these procedures however, I strongly recommend you consider offering your family the same protection from lead contamination as the contractors you hire to work in your home. Ultimately your family’s safety is your responsibility.
Where can you get more information?
Please take the time to visit these links.
- A link to the entire regulation EPA Regulation
- A link to pdf with information for homeowners planning to do their own work Renovation Booklet for Homeowners
- A link to information for contractors Contractor Info
- A link to the EPA website EPA
Lead Paint Test Kits
At your local Ace Hardware