In challenging economic times, many homeowners consider remodeling their homes rather than moving. Others are remodeling to improve energy efficiency and Go Green! It is important to stay safe when you remodel, whether you are hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. Learn the facts about working with lead paint. Painting or remodeling a home build before 1978 can disturb lead paint and endanger young children. Lead can harm your child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems. Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies. Children under age six are most at risk. Lead can harm an unborn baby, if the mother is exposed to lead. Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family and require large costs for proper cleanup to ensure a lead-safe environment. Keep your home a Healthy Home by learning the facts about lead.
Where is lead paint found? Most homes built before 1978 have some lead paint. Homes built before 1960 have the most lead paint. Lead paint can be present on any painted surface, but it is most fen found on windows, trim,doors, railing, columns, porches and outside walls.
Sanding, scraping or otherwise disturbing lead paint can release large amounts of toxic lead dust. This dust isn’t always visible and can settle on floors and other surfaces where it gets on children’s hands and into their mouths. The only way to know for certain if a surface has been coated with lead-based paint is to test it.
New rules adopted by the EPA require that if you hire a contractor to remodel your pre 1978 home and the work involves disturbing paint, the contractor is required to give you the Renovate Right pamphlet before starting work. EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) rule also requires that, starting April 2010, contractors performing work that disturbs lead-based paint homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 Must be EPA-certified to work with lead-based paint, and Must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.