Skip to main content

Lead paint rule goes into effect

The EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule addressing the presence and removal of lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities reached its date of enforcement.

The EPA regulation requires the use of a certified renovator and the incorporation of lead-safe work practices in most pre-1978 residences and child-occupied properties beginning on or after April 22, 2010 and with an enforcement date of Oct. 1, 2010.

The federal standard defines lead-based paint as any paint or surface coatings that contain lead equal to, or in excess of, 1 milligram per square centimeter or more than 0.5 percent by weight. Lead, which is a bluish-gray metal found in the earth's crust in small amounts, was added to paint for color and durability. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

"I recommend that all remodeling contractors make time for the eight-hour EPA course and become a certified renovator," says Mark L. Karas, president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, in a news release. "We must ensure that as professionals, we are fully educated on how to comply and protect our clients. Conscientious remodelers may have already been taking most of the necessary precautions, but it's important we always keep the health, safety and welfare of our clients and employees at the forefront."

Firms and contractors performing work in target housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified and implement lead-safe work practices during renovation, adhering to the following requirements, according to the NKBA:

? Firm must be certified

? Renovators must be certified through training

? Non-certified workers must work under and be trained by a certified renovator

? Training providers must be accredited

? Lead-safe work practices must be incorporated during renovations

? Pre-renovation education in target housing and child-occupied facilities

? Lead abatement professionals must follow work practice standards, which include posting signs defining the work area and containing the work area to prevent visible dust or debris from leaving the area. This is accomplished by an outlined series of interior and exterior containment procedures.

As of Oct. 1, the EPA can suspend, revoke or modify a firm's certification if the firm is found to be in non-compliance. Non-compliant contractors may be liable for civil penalties of up to $37,500 for each violation. Contractors who knowingly or willfully violate this regulation may face fines up to an additional $37,500 per violation, or imprisonment, or both.

For information on the EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, lead poisoning, lead abatement, and certification training, click here or call 800-424-5323.

Related Articles