Lead is a very toxic substance that the EPA wants to remove from the environment. Paint, dust, and soil can contain harmful amounts of this substance. The EPA has rules regarding repair, painting and renovating. Only EPA certified workers may perform these activities on homes and businesses built before 1978. Certification only takes an eight-hour training course. Title X, Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, is the new rule that controls what contractors follow.
The main thing the regulations do is to clean up the environments where young children play and live. It calls for workers to contain the work area so children cannot easily get dust and peeling paint. Signs must indicate this. Sealing off vents and doors will help to keep lead dust out of the area.
Avoid raising dust in the area by not sanding, or using other power tools that cause dusty conditions. Use water and mist areas that need sanding and grinding. Attach HEPA bags to power tools to reduce raising dust.
The rule mainly applies to bigger renovations than those within a household. Lead-painted areas, less than six feet inside or twenty feet outside, do not have to adhere to the rule. Workers, before working in a lead-based paint building, must present the EPA’s pamphlet called “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families” to the tenants.
The laws apply mainly to the contractors or remodelers who do the work on a home built before 1978. The laws deal with record-keeping, training, and home safety.
Two parts of Title X, the Clearance Rule and the Opt-Out Rule do not apply any longer. The Fee Rule reduces the cost of applying the Title X Rule.
When the contractor finishes the work, he will wipe down the areas with a special dust cloth to verify the contractor cleaned the area adequately before he left.
Some will send a lead dust test to a lab to assess. The report will tell how much lead is in the area. The EPA does not require all contractors to perform the lead dust test. Check the EPA website to find a lead professional who will perform the test.
Lead exposure can cause serious diseases in children. It can damage the brain and nervous system, cause learning disabilities, hearing problems, headaches and stunt growth.
In adults, lead can cause brain-related problems, like memory loss and difficulty concentrating, nervous disorders, reproductive problems in males and females, high blood pressure, and pain in the joints and muscles.