New lead paint rule effective April 22

Reminder: New Lead-Based Paint Rule Takes Effect April 22

The Environmental Protection Agency's new rule dealing with lead-safe work practices goes into effect on April 22, 2010. Anyone receiving compensation for renovating, repairing, and painting work in residences built before 1978 that disturbs painted surfaces is subject to the new Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP). Also affected by the RRP are those performing similar work on facilities occupied by children under six years of age, such as schools and day-care centers built prior to 1978.

The requirements under the rule apply to maintenance, renovation, or repair activities where six square feet (about the size of a poster) or more of a painted surface is disturbed inside, or where 20 square feet or more of painted surface (about the size of a door) is disturbed on the exterior. Window replacement also is covered by the rule. Under the new rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as public or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis. Those affected by the rule will be required to:

  • Apply to EPA to be approved as a Certified Renovation Firm.
  • Receive the necessary training and certification from an EPA-accredited training provider for Lead Safe Work Practices.
  • Assign a Certified Renovator to be present at each project.
  • Ensure that lead-safe work practices are used throughout the project.
  • Provide consumers or tenants with the EPA pamphlet "Renovate Right" prior to the start of any project that will disturb six or more square feet of interior painted surface or 20 or more square feet of exterior painted surfaces in housing and child occupied facilities built before 1978.
  • Maintain records documenting that the required information has been provided at each project subject to the rule.

"This rule is the next step in EPA's goal to protect children from the hazards of lead-based paint," said Shawn M. Garvin, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "Beginning April 22, 2010, consumers should ask for proof of certification from their contractors before work begins."

Landlords who perform the work described above are also affected by the rule and bound by the same requirements.

EPA notes that lead, a toxic metal that was used for many years in products such as lead-based paint, may cause a range of health effects from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk. In 1978 the sale and use of lead-based paint was banned for residential use.

Until the new rule takes effect, contractors should follow these three simple procedures: contain the work area; minimize dust; and clean up thoroughly. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

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