New EPA Brochure Gives Tips on Lead-Safe Practices
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, free brochure for remodelers on safe work practices for lead paint-exposed homes.
“Contractors ― Lead Safety During Renovation,” available online at www.epa/lead, outlines the procedures remodelers must follow under the recently published Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule governing the work of professional remodelers in homes where there is lead-based paint.
The brochure briefly outlines the tools and protective clothing needed, how to set up safe work areas, how to minimize dust, what to do inside and outside the work area and more.
“As a contractor, you play an important role in protecting public health by helping prevent lead exposure. Ordinary renovation and maintenance activities can create dust that contains lead — even small amounts of lead can harm children and adults,” the brochure says.
When working with lead paint, remodelers must wear protective eye wear, disposable shoe covers, N-100-rated disposable respirators, gloves, coveralls and painters’ hats.
When preparing for the job, the brochure recommends that remodelers use heavy plastic sheeting, a misting bottle, HEPA vacuum, paper towels and a mop with disposable heads to help minimize dust and set up containment areas.
The EPA also requires that remodelers use signs to keep residents out of work areas, to use heavy plastic sheeting to separate the work area from the rest of the residence when appropriate and to close and seal vents in the work area.
Practices that may not be used include open flame burning or torching, sanding or grinding surfaces without a HEPA vacuum and using a heat gun at temperatures higher than 1,100 degrees F.
After finishing the job, remodelers must HEPA vacuum all surfaces, carefully dispose of the plastic sheeting, wash the area with a general purpose cleaner and perform a cleaning verification check, according to the brochure.
The EPA rule was published in the Federal Register earlier this year and takes effect in April 2010.
The new rule addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than six square feet of potentially contaminated painted surfaces for all residential and multifamily structures built before 1978 that are inhabited or frequented by pregnant women and children under the age of six.
It requires a cleaning inspection after the work is completed and grants the remodeler flexibility in determining the size of the work area, which can reduce the size of the area subject to containment.
NAHB has followed the development of this regulation and continues to work with the EPA on implementation and training necessary for following the rule.
For more information on the circumstances under which the rule applies, remodelers’ responsibilities and procedures under the rule and what exemptions are possible, read NAHB’s “Lead Paint: EPA’s Final Rule on Remodeling and Renovation.”
For additional articles and links to resources on the lead paint rule on the NAHB Web site, visit www.nahb.org/leadpaint, or visit the EPA Web site at www.epa/lead.
For more information, e-mail Matt Watkins at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8327.
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The Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation.
Remodelers who earn the CGR become members of an exclusive national program and gain recognition as industry leaders.
To learn more about the CGR designation, visit www.nahb.org/CGRinfo, or call The Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.