In April 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency passed and began implementing the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. The rule was meant to protect homeowners and contractors from the dangers of lead in your home and other buildings, especially those constructed before 1978, when the government banned the use of lead–based paints.
There are many challenges faced by the LRRP Rule, so much so that that the EPA is still working to smooth out all the creases.
A press release featured on the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s website states that the EPA recently decided to “not impose lead dust clearance as an addendum to LRRP.”
The EPA stated that “existing lead – safe work practices and clean up requirements – which went into place in 2010 – will protect people from lead dust hazards created during renovations jobs without the need for additional clearance requirements.”
NARI applauds the EPA’s hesitancy to add more to the LRRP Rule, but why? One main reason is that some homeowners are faced with additional expenses when remodeling their homes if they are adhering – and hire contractors adhering – to the LRRP standards. Some are taking home improvements into their own hands or hiring non–licensed workmen to complete their projects. Not only is this damaging to the remodeling industry, it is unsafe and builds poor business practices.
There are other concerns NARI has regarding the rule.
- It doesn’t provide enough flexibility to handle each case individually. The “one size fits all” approach simply will not work.
- The rule is convoluted – with a 600 FAQ support document – and the EPA doesn’t have the means to make clear, helpful announcements pertaining to the rule and its amendments.
- Certification and training requirements for contractors are unclear, and curriculum doesn’t reflect amendments to the rule.
So what should you know about lead in your home
And what can you do to protect yourself and your family? The EPA offers plenty of helpful advice on this subject. You can find link resources at the EPA website on how to Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.
Where is lead present?
If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that lead – based paint was used, both indoors and out. Lead can leach from outdoor paint into the soil. If repainting has been done, lead dust and lead chips might have been present when paint was scraped or removed.
Some plumbing pipes have lead or lead solder in them. Older, painted toys may carry potential lead problems, and some hobbies – such as stained glass making or furniture refinishing – require the use of products that may contain lead.
How can you protect yourself?
If you’re having your home remodeled, be aware of the potential for lead in your home. Share this with your contractor and make sure he or she knows about and understands the LRRP standards for a lead – safe working environment.
You can also take small steps to protect yourself and your family. Have children between the ages of 9 and 12 tested for lead if you suspect its presence of lead in your home or in their schools.
Keep floors, window sills and frames clean, especially if you have old, chipping paint. Paint chips should be disposed of immediately.
Don’t track dirt into your house if you suspect lead could be in your soil.
Practice sanitary habits, such as washing children’s hands before meals; thoroughly rinsing towels and sponges used for cleaning; and eating low–fat, healthy meals. Healthy diet eaters have systems less likely to absorb excess lead.
If you have questions about lead in your home or want to speak with someone about the possibility before committing to a renovation, consult an experienced contractor.
Glazer Design and Construction has been in operation since 1995, and the people behind its success have decades of experience providing quality commercial and residential remodeling. For a respected and trustworthy contractor who will help you through the remodeling process, contact us at 404.683.9848, email Randy@GlazerConstruction.com or complete our Fast Form below.