Lead-Safe Renovation

Was your home built before 1978?  If so, you need to be aware of the risk of lead paint dust if you are contemplating a remodeling project.

In June of 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a set of rules to address the hazards created by renovating in the presence of lead-based paint. The law also required that contractors successfully complete an 8 hour training course and register their company with the EPA.  Since October 2009, thousands of contractors have been trained in the lead-safe work practices that are mandated by the law. As of April 22, 2010, those rules must be followed when renovation, repairs and/or painting is conducted for profit, in homes, schools and child-care facilities built before 1978.

What does all this mean to you?  Lead paint, disturbed by renovation projects, is a serious health risk.  In children below the age of 6, lead poisoning can result in reduced IQ, behavior problems and learning disabilities.  In adults, exposure to lead paint dust can result in high blood pressure and other health risks.  Pregnant women are at higher risk because lead poisoning can be transferred to the fetus.  You can visit the EPA’s web site here: EPA Lead Info to find more detailed information on the health risks associated with lead-based paint.

What should you do if you are contemplating a renovation project or repainting?  The first thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the risks and procedures for renovating in the presence of lead-based paint.  You can find that information here: Renovate Right Pamphlet.  Secondly, it is important that you select a remodeling contractor who is certified.  You can find a list of contractors in your area here:  Find Lead-safe Contractors.

The risks of exposure to lead during a renovation project are real.  Prudent homeowners should educate themselves and hire a Lead-safe certified contractor to do the work.


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