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Contractors Expected To Be Certified In EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting

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In 2008, The EPA issued a rule that stated that people involved in renovating homes built prior to 1978 would have to take training on lead safe practices in dealing with lead paint renovation and repair. The deadline of obtaining that certification is April 22, 2010. From Today’s Green Construction,

…the government has decided to require that any remodeling or renovation project that disturbs more than 6 square feet on the interior or 20 square feet on the exterior be tested for lead paint. If the house tests positive you must hire a certified contractor for the work. There are a few exceptions and you can read more about them on our other site on our 2010 Lead Paint Law article.

Some of the common renovation practices that require safe practices includes: sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

Lead poisoning can cause learning problems, mental retardation, seizures and in severe cases, death. That’s why it’s so important to teach children how to avoid lead poisoning in the first place.
Acting Health Commissioner Patsy Yang

In most cases, the sources of contamination are lead hazards in the home, such as peeling and chipping lead paint and lead paint dust, which children breathe, lick or swallow. Lead paint was banned for residential use in 1978, but is still found in a majority of the county’s older housing stock. Lead and lead paint also can be found in imported toys, jewelry, candy and make-up, and in some pottery.

The EPA has a list of EPA approved training programs and an easy to use Locator widget to find the one closest to you.

EPA Lead Renovation Trainer Locator

Litigation attorneys are getting the word out to contractors that they need to take this certification very seriously. From the Massachusetts Builders Blog,

The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Law is a federal law. That means that claims brought under that law can be brought in federal court. Even if you have an arbitration clause in your contract, it will not apply to a lead paint claim because the plaintiff would be the child or a pregnant woman who is not necessarily a party to the contract. Therefore contractors could be subject two legal proceedings at the same time.

In its article about the new law, Today’s Green Construction says the new law will mean some contractors will go out of business.

Over the last few months I’ve heard several small contractors say they will steer clear of and avoid older home renovations. A significant amount of small replacement window contractors will most likely go out of business and stop providing inexpensive window replacement services. While we think the new law is important in protecting public safety we also know it will result in much higher prices for consumers and less competition for consumers.

What will the new law mean for your business?

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