Lead Certification

The new federal Renovation, Repair and Painting Lead Law went into effect April 22, 2010.  It requires anyone working in a home, apartment, or commercial space built prior to 1978 to be certified by the U.S. EPA.

The intent of this regulation is to protect children and adults from lead poisoning caused by certain renovation activities such as sanding, cutting, or demolishing surfaces containing lead-based paint.  The eight-hour course required for the certified renovator trains her or him in approved lead-safe work practices.

RDI has a certified renovator on staff and is a certified firm in lead-safe work practices.  Copies of these certifications are required to be kept at the job site.  The renovator and firm must be recertified every five years.

Additionally, we are required to give owners/tenants in pre-1978 built structures an EPA pamphlet, “Renovate Right”.  This pamphlet gives information on the hazards of lead-based paint, how to prepare for the renovation, and what to expect of the contractor.

Lead safe work practices must be followed if the area involves more than 6 square feet on the interior or 20 square feet on the exterior.  Any window work in pre-1978 built structures is included.

There are lead test kits available which can check for the presence of lead on wood surfaces.  Since there is no current test available for plaster or drywall, in pre-1978 built structures, it is assumed they have lead-based paint so the lead safe work practices are required.

For projects requiring lead safe work practices, we will:

  • Contain the work area by putting up signs and caution tape or barricades
  • Completely cover the floors and any furniture which cannot be moved with heavy duty plastic and tape
  • Seal off doors and heating/cooling vents
  • Wear protective clothing, shoe covers, and respirators
  • Minimize dust as much as possible
  • Clean the area when done in accordance with the strict EPA guidelines including use of an industrial HEPA vacuum
  • Ensure all waste in work area is enclosed in plastic and disposed of according to EPA guidelines
  • Have the certified renovator do proscribed clean-up checks to ensure adherence to EPA standards.  Note: if the clean-up checks fails, the contractor is required to clean again (and re-test) until the area passes.
  • Remove all plastic and waste prior to beginning renovation work

The EPA has the authority to see civil fines of $32,500 per offense and an additional criminal fine of $32,500 plus jail time for knowing and willful violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requirement.

Make sure your contractor is certified!

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