Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Older communities considering renovations need to know about EPA requirements concerning lead-based paint.

Lead-based paint was banned in the United States by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1977 (16 Code of Federal Regulations CFR 1303). However, there are still millions of older residential housing units in the US that contain lead-based paint which present a health risk during renovations and repairs.

Humans can be poisoned during unsafe renovations or repainting jobs on housing that has lead paint. Children younger than 6 are especially vulnerable to neurological damage if any deteriorated paint (peeling, chipping, cracking, etc.) is not carefully stabilized in a lead-safe manner and precautions taken during preparation for repainting.

Effective April 22, 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now requires that all renovators who work in residential housing and child-occupied facilities built prior to 1978 and who disturb more than six square-feet of lead paint be Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certified. The new regulation will affect over 100,000 renovators across the country.

As of October 1, 2010, those companies must have a Certified Renovator on their staff and must have at least submitted the application to become a Certified Firm under the EPA’s new Renovation, Repair and Painting regulation. The EPA can levy significant fines against companies for non-compliance with this regulation.

If your pre-1978 community is contemplating repairs or renovations which will disturb more than 6-square feet of lead-based paint, you must verify that the contractor you select to perform this work has the requisite ”Certified Renovator” certification required by EPA’s new regulation. In addition to drafting your contract to ensure that your contractor is properly licensed and insured, it is a good idea to add language that your contractor is properly certified for the type of work being performed!

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