WAS YOUR HOME BUILT IN OR BEFORE 1978?
If so, you need to know the following important information:
As of April 22nd 2008, contractors remodeling or demolishing more than six square feet indoors or 20 square feet outdoors must be trained and certified for lead safety by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to work in homes, childcare facilities or schools built in or before 1978. Buildings constructed in or before 1978 are likely to contain lead-based paint that can be disturbed during remodeling or demolition, creating dust and exposing workers and occupants to the potential health hazards associated with lead.
Scientific studies show that children with high levels of lead in their bodies can potentially suffer from:
- Damage to brain and nervous system.
- Slowed growth, behavior and learning problems.
- Hearing problems.
- Headaches, memory and concentration problems.
- Miscarriages and premature births.
- High blood pressure, muscle or joint pain.
- Digestive disorders.
HOW THE NEW REGULATION AFFECTS YOU AND YOUR HOME
We are a Licensed and Certified Environmental Protection Agency Firm and able to work on buildings that were built prior to 1978 where Lead Paint may exist.
While working in a lead contaminated workplace, the contractor is required to comply with three important directives: contain the work area, minimize dust, clean thoroughly.
Remember: disturbing lead-based paint can be harmful to adults and children and the law requires great care by workers and clients, who must follow the contractor’s directions within regard to the RRP rules.
If you do not know whether or not your bulding contains lead-based paint, ask your EPA certified contractor to run the proper tests.
It is against the law to hire a contractor who do not possess the EPA training and certification.
Your contractor must provide you with the US EPA Renovate Right booklet:
All the areas where lead dust is present must be sealed, which means all doors, windows and HVAC ducts must stay closed at all times. Doors leading to the work area must be properly sealed with a zip door (as shown in the photo) to prevent spread of dust and in order to allow passage only for the workers.
Those who work and circulate in the renovation area need to wear protective suites and devices (such as glasses and gloves) and need a special containment area, equipped with another zip door, where they can clean themselves and change their clothes: by no mean dust and debris from a contaminated area should reach adjacent areas.
Plastic containment barriers are needed, which at the very least means that in your home all the floors will be covered with tape-down plastic, and at the end of the working day debris and dust will be collected and stored in the containment area.
Very important is also the waste handling: waste bags must be emptied from air using a special EPA certified vacuum cleaner (which is the only allowed vacuum machine for the after renovation cleaning) and then, by law, sealed with no less than two passages of strong tape.
Lastly, all renovation areas must have warning signs posted at all times.