EPA Issues New Lead-Based Paint Hazards Requirements
Under upcoming rules, during renovation and repair activities in facilities built before 1978, workers will have to follow lead-safe work practice standards to reduce potential exposure to dangerous levels of lead.
The "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program" rule, which will take effect in April 2010, prohibits work practices creating lead hazards in schools, child-care facilities and housing.
The EPA’s requirements under the rule include implementing lead-safe work practices and certification and training for paid contractors and maintenance professionals. The rule covers all rental housing and non-rental homes where children under six and pregnant mothers reside.
The new requirements apply to renovation, repair or painting activities where more than six square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed in a room or where 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior. Contractors must post warning signs, restrict occupants from work areas, contain work areas to prevent dust and debris from spreading, conduct a thorough cleanup, and verify that cleanup was effective.
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and was banned for residential use in 1978. Exposure to lead can result in health concerns for both children and adults.