Most homeowners know that houses built before 1978 often contain lead-based paint, but did you know that there are new regulations affecting even the smallest renovation projects? If you're thinking about a remodel or a new paint job, read on!Lead-based paints in older homes can be a concern, especially for children and pets who are more likely to ingest paint chips found in the home or surrounding soil. For those who are remodeling, activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust which can be harmful to both children and adults.
The EPA's Lead-Safe Certification program went into effect last spring and applies to homes (apartments and condos included!), childcare facilities and school that were built before 1978. The rule states that any repair, renovation or painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint must be performed by certified contractors to prevent harmful lead contamination. Lead-safe practices include containing the work area, minimizing dust, and cleaning up thoroughly. If you're hiring the work out, click here to find a certified firm in your area.
If you're a homeowner and performing renovation work on your own home, the EPA rule does not cover your project. However, the risks are the same. Check out the EPA's pamphlet on renovation, repair and painting to help make educated decisions during your project.
(Image: Envrionmental Protection Agency)