Wednesday, August 15th 2018

How The EPA’s New Lead Paint Laws Can Affect You

Courtesy of: eco+historical

In late April , the EPA’s new lead paint rules went into effect.  These new regulations impact homeowners, child-occupied facilities, and construction professionals.  The April 22, 2010 rules are composed of three main elements:

  1. periodic training,
  2. certification of companies and its workforce,
  3. and lead-safe work practices.

This EPA program requires contractors and subcontractors to undergo training in dealing with lead paint before they work on houses, child care facilities or schools built before 1978. Why is this news if  the EPA already had a lead paint disclosure program in place?

Click here to view a video of frequently asked questions by real estate agents and brokers about lead paint renovation regulation compliance.

Because these new rules apply to homes and multi-family buildings built before 1978, they may impact as much as 80 percent of the U.S. housing stock, or approximately 79 million homes. These rules also apply to jobs as diverse as additions to existing homes or as small as window installations or painting because the rule kicks in whenever at least six square feet of interior space or at least 20 square feet of exterior space is affected. The fine for not having proper certification is an attention-getting $32,000 per offense and can range to a maximum of $37,500.

The rule is intended to curb exposure to lead, which is a health hazard. Ingesting or inhaling lead can lead to problems in vulnerable populations, especially among pregnant women and children under the age of 6, who are most susceptible to possible brain damage. Lead exposure has been linked to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavior problems in children as well as high blood pressure and hypertension in adults. Lead poisoning is becoming less common, yet it is still a concern as just 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood require medical intervention, according to the CDC.

Small businesses that perform renovation, rehabilitation, or painting work should refer to the EPA’s Compliance Guide which summarizes the requirements of the EPA’s April 22, 2010 Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Rule.

Consumers should pay attention to this development as well.  Industry has been bellyaching over these new regulations for the past few months; yet, many small construction outfits may not be aware of the new rules or, if they are aware of them, may be planning not to follow them.  Others argue that they will get out of the rehab and renovation business in the pre-1978 building market.  Yet another contingent argues that they will have to pass on the costs of this program to the consumer and that these costs will range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per job.

What do these doom and gloom predictions mean for you?

  • It may be harder to find a qualified construction firm willing to take on your painting, renovation, or rehabilitation project.
  • Research your contractor.  Ask your professional to provide you with verification that she or he has undergone the EPA-approved training and received the proper certification.
  • Pay attention to your invoices.  If your home was built after 1978, you need not be concerned with lead paint exposure.  Therefore, if you come across a Lead Safe Work Practice Fee (“LSWPF”) in your contractor’s invoice, beware.
  • Pay attention to your contractor’s work practices.  Did the crew use specialized clothing, equipment, and cleaning procedures to reduce the amount of dist arising from the disturbance of lead paint?  Were you charged for the cost of EPA-approved paint test kits?

Kayla of the Calfinder blog summarizes:

While it’s hard to determine exactly how much these regulations will change the remodeling game, it is safe to say the extra money is going to have to come from somewhere.  The good part?  Improved health in our homes, schools and office buildings.

Posted by Krystyna on May 18, 2010 at 4:52pm.

2 Responses to “How The EPA’s New Lead Paint Laws Can Affect You”

  1. Homeowners should also note that some home-renovation workers may not yet be educated in lead-safe practices due to a shortage of instructors.

  2. avatar EPA lead says:

    IF LEAD IS PRESENT, inform customer about renovation and repair procedures and costs before starting any work. You can choose not to perform renovation or repair work if lead is present. If you do choose to perform the work, you have several options available to you.

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