Contractors beware!  The federal lead police get more power beginning April 22, 2010.  If you thought remodeling a home is expensive now, wait until your contractors must hire EPA-certified workers.  “On April 22, the Environmental Protection Agency is slated to enact rules requiring EPA certification for contractors working 0n homes built before lead paint was banned in 1978. The rule, aimed at limiting exposure to lead, applies to carpenters, plumbers, heating and air conditioning workers, window installers and others.”  See the EPA’s announcement that states:

Beginning next month, federal law will require that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified in the new EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and follow specific work practices to reduce human exposures to lead.

Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning.  All contractors must be trained and certified by April 22, 2010.

Landlords, property managers, and their employees are responsible for ensuring compliance with the rule and play an important role in protecting public health by helping prevent lead exposure from their housing units. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.

Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays and behavioral problems in young children.

To locate an EPA-accredited training provider or to learn more about protecting your family from lead-based paint, visit EPA’s Get Lead Safe Web site or contact the National Lead Information Center, 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).