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OK, say you live in a home built prior to 1978, and you are interested in remodeling. The first thing you must understand is that “the home is completely painted with lead based paint” according the the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) unless tested and proven otherwise. This was done on Earth Day 4,22,2010 . The RRP rule is a federal law that required contractors to Lead Safe Work Practices (LSWP) when Renovating, Repairing or painting pre-1978 homes throughout the country. The rationale for that date is because Lead Based Paint was outlawed ( reduced to a very small amount allowable) for residential applications on 12/31/1977. The EPA has been slow to educate and inform the public but all indications are that fines for non compliance will propel the rule into the public eye in the coming months.
Idaho resides in EPA Region 10 administered out of Seattle Washington, Many states have taken the responsibility of enforcing the RRP rule as it is called but Idaho remains a federally run program.
Lead Safe Contractor is one that has taken the 8 hour classroom combination didactic and hands on education and has demonstrated comprehension of the dangers involved with lead based paint and the how to work with it safely. The contractor also has the ability to document the proper processes and preform lead safe work practices. They have paid an additional $300 fee and are registered with the EPA. This is the insignia used to identify RRP certified contractors and Lead Safe Firms.
To avoid the stigma of lead based paint all together,owners are choosing non certified contractors to do the work. Unfortunately the contractor bares all the risk and if caught will be essentially put out of business once fined.
There are two schools of thought out there for contractors.
TO TEST or NOT TO TEST
If you do test, you will know exactly what is, and isn’t leaded, thus giving knowledge to the owner in the form of a report. The down side is that the report must stay with the home.
If you don’t test,You won’t attach the stigma of knowing that which components are leaded, thus rendering the home in a “everything is leaded” state just like millions of other homes in the country.
This may seem like a simple decision but it is not. Testing is how Levco operates. Knowledge is power. Only providing the super duper dust protection when it is needed is 99.9% less expensive and it addresses the intent of the rule.
OSHA also has a series of lead requirements for companies to be aware of the potential lead hazards to the employees. You really don’t know till you’ve tested. This means air monitoring and medical monitoring is always necessary if you don’t test and perhaps if you test but there again, If you test and find none you save lots of time and money.
Once the job is completed, verification of lead safe is done with a series of dust samples and soil sampling if appropriate. Do yourself, your family and your contractor a big favor and get a lead test in your pre-78 home before you ask them to remodel or paint.