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The US Environmental Protection Agency requires that Renovation, Repair and Painting projects (RRP) that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, childcare facilities and schools must be performed by an EPA Certified Renovator working for an EPA Certified Firm and specific work practices must be implemented to prevent lead contamination.
Exposure to Lead
Lead paint hazards have not gone away. If your home or apartment was built before 1978, it is more likely to have lead based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint, but some states banned it even earlier.
Lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem. Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp) is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as:
- Windows and window sills;
- Doors and door frames; and
- Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.
Use a Lead-Safe Certified Contractor
Consult a certified lead professional before beginning renovation, repair or painting projects. Renovation is broadly defined as any activity that disturbs painted surfaces and includes most repair, remodeling, and maintenance activities, including window replacement. These activities can create toxic lead dust when painted surfaces are disturbed or demolished.
Unqualified workers could unknowingly spread lead paint dust. Even doing a small job. The RRP Rule requires workers to be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe work practices, and requires renovation, repair, and painting firms to be EPA-certified. These requirements became fully effective April 22, 2010.
In housing built before 1978, lead-safe work practices must be followed. Examples of these practices include:
- Work-area containment to prevent dust and debris from leaving the work area.
- Prohibition of certain work practices like open-flame burning and the use of tools without HEPA exhaust control
- Thorough clean up followed by verification procedure to minimize exposure to lead-based paint hazards.
Lower Your Chances of Exposure to Lead
Simple steps like keeping your home clean and well-maintained will go a long way in preventing lead exposure. You can lower the chances of exposure to lead in your home, both now and in the future, by taking these steps:
- Inspect and maintain all painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration.
- Address water damage quickly and completely.
- Keep your home clean and dust-free.
- Clean around painted areas where friction can generate dust, such as doors, windows, and drawers. Wipe these areas with a wet sponge or rag to remove paint chips or dust.
- Use only cold water to prepare food and drinks.
- Flush water outlets used for drinking or food preparation.
- Clean debris out of outlet screens or faucet aerators on a regular basis.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
- Teach children to wipe and remove their shoes and wash hands after playing outdoors.
- Ensure that your family members eat well-balanced meals. Children with healthy diets absorb less lead. See Lead and a Healthy Diet, What You Can Do to Protect Your Child (PDF).
- If you are having home renovation, repairs, or painting done, make sure your contractor is Lead-Safe Certified, and make sure they follow lead-safe work practices.
We're Fully Certified and Trained
Zoe’s ProEdge Painting takes lead safety very seriously. We have three separate types of certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency
- Zoe’s ProEdge Painting is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm
- Every Crew Leader is an EPA Certified Renovator
- All Employees have received Lead-Safe Training
If you own a home built prior to 1978, you be assured with Zoe’s ProEdge Painting that you are hiring a contractor who will be diligent in following EPA guidelines and work in a manner that will help to keep the work site clean and free of contamination.
When you are looking to hire a contractor for your next painting project, make sure that they are an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm and have taken the time to properly train all of their employees.