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Renovation Rules For Homeowners And Contractors

NEW Renovation Rules For Homeowners And Contractors

Two weeks ago I became a “Certified Renovator” for dealing with lead paint and lead poisoning prevention procedures.

The EPA is requiring contractors to become A Certified Renovator in Lead Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting. This new law takes effect this April 22, 2010.

Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults. In children, lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning. It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention span. It can also retard fetal development even at extremely low levels of lead. In adults, it can cause irritability, poor muscle coordination, and nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body. Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction (such as a decreased sperm count). It may also increase blood pressure. Thus, young children, fetuses, infants, and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.

According to this law homeowners and or contractors can be fined up to $ 37,5000 for failing to follow these lead guidelines. Building Departments may also start requiring contractors to become certified before allowing them to pull a building permit.

EPA Requirements:

Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Until that time, EPA recommends that anyone performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools follow lead-safe work practices.

All contractors should follow these three simple procedures:
Contain the work area.
Minimize dust.
Clean up thoroughly.
Read EPA’s Regulations on Residential Property Renovation at 40 CFR 745.80, Subpart E.

Read about lead-hazard information for renovation, repair and painting activities in the EPA lead hazard information pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools.

Read about lead-safe work practices for contractors in the EPA pamphlet Contractors:Lead Safety During Renovation .

Read about how to comply with EPA’s rule in the EPA
Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right.

Over the next month or two I will be posting on how contractors can accomplish this task as well as information for homeowners to be more informed.

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