Participants Needed for Lead-Based Paint Study
As both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency†(EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration†(OSHA) get ready to address lead-based paint regulations that could cost the housing industry billions of dollars, NAHB is embarking upon a research project that will need assistance from the members of the association.
A primary objective of the NAHB study is to provide data that accurately reflects the lead-paint exposures and risks associated with renovation and remodeling activities, as well as identify cost-effective and feasible work practices that NAHB members can use to further reduce exposures to the paint while complying with federal regulations.
Long-overdue lead safe work practices for the remodeling and multifamily housing industries are expected from the EPA by the end of this year, and OSHA is reviewing whether or not to reopen its rule concerning safe practices for handling lead-based paint in the workplace.
In an attempt to support a regulatory approach that would focus on units with the greatest likelihood of presenting lead-exposure hazards, the study will aim to demonstrate that the most stringent requirements should be reserved for housing constructed before 1960.
Current lead-based paint rules apply to all single-family and multifamily residential structures built prior to 1978 that might be occupied by a child under the age of six. Approximately 68% of the nationís existing housing stock predates 1978.
In 2000, the EPA estimated that mandatory regulations would cost the industry $2-$4 billion annually.
While the outcome of the research by NAHB is not known, and an unfavorable outcome is possible, without supporting research data, remodeling and renovation contractors will be hard pressed to present regulators with a defensible alternative to potentially onerous regulations.
To conduct and complete the study in a timely manner, the following is needed from NAHB members:
- Access to appropriate structures that are unoccupied, meet certain age criteria and can be tested by NAHB for the presence of lead. The owner or contractor must be willing to participate in the study. Testing will be conducted from January through March, when the new EPA rule is expected to be open for comment.
- Access to job sites where specific remodeling and renovation activities are being conducted, including window replacement, cabinet removal, bathtub removal, wall removal and more.
- A willingness to volunteer and appropriately train work crews. At a minimum, this will require a supervisor to complete the eight-hour EPA/Department of Housing and Urban Development safe-lead work practices training course and then in turn train the work crew. Compliance with all applicable OSHA safety rules will be required while the research activities are conducted.
- Trained work crews may be sent to available test sites in other cities.
For a form indicating interest in participating in the study, click here.
For more information, e-mail Gary Suskauer†at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8327; or contact George Middleton, x8590; or Therese Crahan, x8211.