Learn about lead paint hazards potentially present in homes built prior to 1978
If you live in a house built prior to 1978, please keep reading (and forward this to others) to learn how to protect yourself and your family from the lead paint hazards that may be present in your house.
Who does this concern?
An estimated 80 million homes in the United States may contain lead paint or lead varnish.
Why is this a health problem?
Lead and lead containing dust does pose a serious health risk to both adults and children, even household pets. The creation of dust as a result of performing various home renovation projects like sawing, grinding, scraping, and sanding of home components which contain lead paint should be avoided. Lead poisoning is measured in micrograms, a measure of one-millionth of a gram. It only takes a minute amount of lead to be poisoned.
Why is there lead in paint in the first place?
The addition of lead to paint was commonplace up until its banning the the 1970’s. Lead strengthened the paint and made it more durable.
What is EPA RRP?
In April 2010, a new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation went into effect. This new regulation known as RRP or Renovation Repair and Painting, aimed at both training and certifying those that work on older homes were properly trained to deal with the lead hazard. RRP intends to help those doing this work due so in such a way that protects themselves and the inhabitants from lead poisoning. If you hire someone that intends to perform any work that disturbs six (6) square feet or more of interior lead painted surfaces or twenty (20) square feet or more on the exterior, they must be EPA RRP Certified Renovators. Non-certified contractors can face fines of $32,500.
What should homeowners or DIYers do?
Get house tested if it was built prior to ’78 and prior to performing renovation tasks. If lead is present, contact a certified professional, avoid disturbing lead painted components. Continue reading a number of additional resources found in the Resources section below.
Article written by Chuck Solomon a home improvement and small business consultant.