New EPA Lead Safety Guidelines

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On April 22, 2010 new EPA regulations regarding lead-safety containment practices went into effect. These regulations apply when any renovations are preformed on a pre-1978 resident, rental unit, or child-occupied facility such as a day care center or schools. The regulations apply to anyone who is doing work for compensation. This would include general contractors, property managers doing their own repairs, and specialist contractors such as plumbers, electricians and specifically window installers . The new regulations required that contractors performing work on any pre-1978 structure be certified by the EPA. The contracting firm itself must be a Certified Firm and use workers who are Certified Renovators. This would include anyone performing activities such as cutting, drilling, sanding and demolition which might cause lead dust or paint chips to be raised. Originally the regulations included an opt-out clause where the owner of a home in which no tenants were pregnant or under the age of 6 could opt out of the safety regulation. That clause has since been dropped from the regulations. Prior to beginning work, the contractor is required to provide the homeowner, or an adult tenant of the dwelling, with a copy of the EPA pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools and have them sign a disclosure form stating that they received the pamphlet. Or the contractor may provide certification that the pamphlet was mailed to the owner at least 7 days prior to work beginning. A copy of the disclosure form in PDF format may be obtained from the EPA site: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/pre-renovationform.pdf. The pamphlet may be viewed at: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovaterightbrochure.pdf For interior renovations, the contractor is required to follow EPA practices which include: • Posting signs to clearly mark the work area and instructing anyone not directly involved in the work to remain outside the area. These signs must remain in place until the cleaning verification has been completed. • Containing the work area so that lead dust and paint chips are confined to that space. This would include steps such as: • Removing all objects from the area or covering them with sealed plastic sheeting or other impermeable material. • Closing and covering all duct opens with sealed plastic sheeting or other impermeable material. • Closing all windows and door. Sealing the doors with sealed plastic sheeting or other impermeable material. Doors used for entry to the work area must be covered with plastic sheeting that allows access to the area while still confining dust particles.
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