While lead paint was abolished over four decades ago, it still remains a real danger, and one all renovators should be aware of. Working with lead paint demands a lot of knowledge about the product, the safety procedures that should be taken, and the steps necessary for compliance when working in a property that may contain it. This is why renovators need to be cautious about the guidelines to make sure that their employees and clients remain safe and protected, and to avoid legal repercussions as well. Let’s take a look at some of the things all renovators should know about lead paint.
The Hazards of Lead Paint
It’s very important that contractors are aware of the true risks associated with lead paint if they want to take the proper procedures and understand their importance. While infants are some of the most affected by lead paint, it also has a lot of risks for adults as well.
Some of these include headaches, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, infertility, mood swings, or even cognitive disorders such as lack of concentration or loss of memory. This is why lead paint should be taken very seriously. All contractors must have the proper training and certification needed.
Certification is Ongoing
If you are a professional renovator or in the building trade, you should also know that certification is not a one-time thing and that you’ll have to re-evaluate and recertify periodically. If you already are certified, know that you can take your refresher course online. However, you should know that not all states will allow you to get your lead paint recertification online, so make sure that you check first if you’re eligible.
The EPA Standards
The EPA’s RRP rules are there to ensure that the public is protected from the harmful effects of lead during renovations. Some of these renovations include carpentry, repairs, plumbing and electrical work, painting preparation, window replacement, and more.
According to their guidelines, there should never be more than 40 micrograms of lead per square foot in dust collected on floors, and 140 micrograms in dust collected on interior windowsills. Anything over that and clean-up will have to be conducted until levels reach safe levels.
Your Responsibilities as a Contractor
Certified renovators are responsible for much more than simply protecting themselves from danger. They are also responsible for providing training to their staff on safe working practices. They have to be physically present when there are warning signs, while work areas are getting contained, and when cleaning is performed.
They also have to regularly direct work being performed by different individuals to make sure that they are compliant with the EPA’s safety rules. They might be asked by the contracting party to take paint samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis. It will also be their responsibility to keep and prepare copies of certification and written records.
Any renovator who works with lead paint, or might in the future, has to understand the implications and make sure that they are compliant. Do not take certification and formation lightly, and make sure that you put safety first when doing any work.