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New EPA Laws

Starting April 2010, federal law required contractors to be certified and take certain precautions to prevent lead dust from spreading when working on renovation, repair or painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978.

What Homeowners Should Know Before Renovating

Before renovating six square feet or more of painted surface on interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects in living spaces, child care facilities and schools built before 1978, federal law requires that individuals receive the lead hazard information in this pamphlet, Renovate Right, Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools.

Children six years old and under are most at risk from the effects of lead poisoning.  Lead was used in many things around homes, such as paint, plumbing materials, the glaze used in ceramic dishes, as well as gasoline.  Lead can cause anything from simple headaches, brain and nerve damage, behavioral and learning issues, slowed growth, and hearing problems, to seizures and death.

Three Safety Tips For Preventing Lead Contamination

Here are three things you can do to prevent spreading lead dust when renovating or remodeling your building.

1.  Contain the work area to that the dust and debris cannot escape from the area you are working in.  Use heavy duty plastic and tape to cover floors and furniture that cannot be moved, and also to seal off doors and heating and cooling vents.

2.  While there is no way to totally eliminate dust, there are some methods that make less dust than others.

Do:  Mist areas with water before sanding or scraping; score paint before separating components; prying and pulling apart components rather than breaking them.  These techniques generate less dust than their alternatives.

Don’t:  Open flame burning or torching; sanding, grinding, planing, needle gunning or blasting with power tools and equipment not set up with a shroud and HEPA vacuum attachment; using a heat gun at temperatures greater than 1100 degrees F.  These techniques create large amounts of lead dust and should not be used.

3.  Clean the work area daily to keep it as clean as possible.  After all the work is completed the area should be cleaned up using special cleaning methods before taking down any plastic that isolates the work area from the rest of the house.  There should not be any dust, paint chips, or any other debris in the work area.

Call us before disturbing lead-based paint in your home.