October 21 through 27, 2012 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Do you live in a home built prior to 1978? Please keep reading to learn more about the potential lead paint hazard that may exist in your home and how to protect yourself. Over 80 million US homes may contain lead paint on painted or varnished surfaces.
Adding the heavy metal lead to paint was done historically up until it was banned from use in the United States in the 1970′s. Lead poses a serious health risk to both adults and children, especially as a result of dust that is created during during various home renovation projects like sawing, grinding, scraping, and sanding of home components which contain lead paint. If you live in a home that was built prior to 1978, take a moment to educate yourself on how to avoid or lesson the creation of lead containing dust.
Back in April 2010, around the time the EPA was dealing with the tragic Deepwater Horizon/BP disaster and subsequent Gulf oil spill, a new EPA regulation went into effect. The law known as RRP or Renovation Repair and Painting, was aimed at training and certifying contractors and others that work on older homes were properly trained to deal with the lead hazard.
Most of us are well aware of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but not many are aware of RRP. While RRP is intended for contractors for hire, there is also excellent information for keeping homeowners and DIYers safe. If you own a home built prior to 1078 and hire someone to do work at your property that involves disturbing painted surfaces, be sure they are RRP certified. The new stricter EPA regulations are designed to ensure those contractors that disturb lead painted surfaces, due so in such a way that protects themselves and the inhabitants from lead poisoning. EPA RRP Certified Renovators must perform any work that disturbs six square feet or more of interior lead painted surfaces (20 square feet or more on the exterior). Those contractors and trades people caught not following the new guidelines can face fines of $32,500.
Who should take notice of the lead paint hazard?
- Property owners that own homes or buildings built pre-1978
- Contractors, remodelers, handyman, trades etc. that work on homes or buildings built pre-1978
What can be done to protect yourself and your family?
Educate yourself first and follow these procedures when doing and renovation activities:
- Contain the work area.
- Minimize dust.
- Clean up thoroughly.