EPA Lead Testing

Was your house built before 1978? If so, did you know that firms performing renovation, repairs, or painting projects are required to be certified by the EPA, if they disturb the paint? This comes from the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Lead was widely used in paint before its ban in 1978. “This paint can form toxic dust when it is disturbed during normal home repair work” according to the EPA. The rule also states these firms should use certified renovators and follow lead-safe work practices.

What does the RRP Rule require? The RRP Rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair and painting projects in homes that were built before 1978 “be certified by EPA, use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.” Additional information on this rule can be found at https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program.

The RRP Rule applies to all firms and individuals who are paid to perform work that disturb paint in a home (or child care facility) built before 1978. While you can’t be fined for using a firm that is not certified, the firm you hire would be in violation of the rule.

The RRP Rule applies to any area 6 square feet (interior) or larger that will be disturbed, and applies to every component in the room. If you are replacing windows, for example, each window must be tested, not just one per room.
Even though you can purchase a lead test kit from a hardware store, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends caution when using them. The EPA recommends that you hire a certified inspector or risk assessor to conduct lead-based paint tests in your home. EPA has recognized three lead test kits, but that only applies to use by Lead-Safe Certified renovators.

To find a lead-safe certified firm, the EPA has a searchable database at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm. (When we tried this, searching by state then filtering on the next page worked best). You can also call 1-800-424-LEAD for a list of contractors in your area. Luckily, we can give you a shortcut. Besides being a Lead-Safe Certified firm, our team at Willet Construction have attended the required training courses and are Lead-Safe Certified.
For more information regarding the EPA Lead-Based Paint Program, visit https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-03/documents/full_rrp_fqs_march_22_2018.pdf.

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