The good people at Fine Homebuilding magazine sent us an article the other day that we thought should inform all our DIYer and renovator readers about the new safety paint regulations. We also spoke to Dan Morrison, Senior Web Producer for GreenBuildingAdvisor.com and FineHomeBuilding.com.
Q.: What is the first step homeowners and do-it-yourselfers should take to find out if they have lead paint in their homes?
Dan: Get an EPA-approved test kit and test the paint. There are currently two EPA-approved test kits: LeadCheck (Hybrivet Systems, Inc.) and D-Lead (www.esca-tech.com).
Q.: How can a homeowner find out if a contractor is certified before proceeding with work in their home?
Dan: Ask to see their certificate. (Note: Dan also suggested that readers donwload the “Compliance Kit” from their site.)
“Rigorous lead-paint safety regulations for remodelers begin in October.”
Fine Homebuilding has complete information on the EPA’s regulations and contractor certification at www.finehomebuilding.com/lead-safe, as well best practices for lead-safe remodeling that homeowners need to know.
Strict new rules from the EPA for lead-safe remodeling, enforced with steep fines for non-compliance, are going to significantly change the way remodeling contractors work.
While contractors will be required to pass a certification course before proceeding with work on houses that contain lead paint, the new law is equally significant to homeowners. Fine Homebuilding magazine has created an easy-to-use Web site for contractors and the public that has complete start-to-finish information about lead-safe remodeling.
According to Brian Pontolilo, editor of Fine Homebuilding, “Lead paint has always been a concern for conscientious remodelers. Hopefully, the EPA’s new Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule will make homeowners and do-it-yourselfers equally aware of the potential dangers. Adopting lead-safe work habits significantly reduces the likelihood of lead poisoning for the home’s occupants, as well as for workers.”
He added, “Contractors will need to learn to comply with the new law while balancing the increased time, materials, and costs associated with it. Homeowners need to know what they’re getting into whether they’re hiring a remodeler to work on their home or beginning a do-it-yourself project where lead paint may be present. We have created a complete multimedia resource, at www.finehomebuilding.com/lead-safe, with easy-to-understand, accurate information about lead-paint safety and the new RRP rule.”
Fine Homebuilding’s lead-paint-safety Web site includes:
- How-to video series: Lead-safe remodeling for interior and exterior jobs
- Two special reports — the what, why, how of the new rule — that you can download
• Understanding the New Lead-Paint Regulations: A Guide for Contractors
• Understanding the New Lead-Paint Regulations: A Guide for Consumers
- A “Compliance Kit” with downloadable checklists, forms, and pamphlets for homeowners
- An article collection from Fine Homebuilding on lead-safe and dust-free remodeling strategies
- A printable job-site warning sign that is required by the new rule
- Podcast series (3) where we interview a remodeler who talks about tools, OSHA requirements, cost increases you didn’t expect, and obtaining liability insurance
The October/November 2010 issue of Fine Homebuilding, on sale at newsstands now, also contains an in-depth article on lead-safe remodeling.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that more than 250,000 American children under the age of 6 have elevated blood-lead levels. In a significant number of these cases, the elevated lead levels were caused by renovation work that disturbed paint surfaces in older homes. The EPA projects that 1.4 million children under the age of 6 live in homes that are renovated each year. It’s estimated that lead-based paint was used in nearly 40 million American homes before it was banned in 1978. In homes built before 1978, for any renovation that includes disturbing painted surfaces (and most do) the new EPA rules apply.
Fine Homebuilding is the largest and most trusted residential construction magazine in America and a nationally respected showcase of beautifully designed homes. A majority of readers are professionals who use the magazine as part of their livelihood and count on Fine Homebuilding as their building bible. Fine Homebuilding provides a range of design and construction ideas from across the country and a level of honest, practical information with special focus on more affordable homes and projects that most people could tackle on their own homes. Fine Homebuilding is published eight times a year by The Taunton Press. To learn more, please visit www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding.