Are You Vulnerable to Lead Exposure? What to Know Before Working With Contractors

It is currently common knowledge that lead exposure can cause severe health problems — particularly for young children. But while lead-based paint has long been banned in new construction, it remains a considerable risk in millions of homes built before lead was widely recognized as a threat.

In pristine condition, lead-based paint does not necessarily harm homeowners — but that all changes when general contractors enter the picture. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones as you proceed with home renovation projects:

Lead-Safe Certification

Issued in 2008 and recently reaffirmed, the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (often referred to as the RRP Rule) mandates that contractors working in homes constructed before 1978 maintain Lead-Safe Certification. To obtain certification, professionals must register with the EPA and complete eight-hour courses that offer insight into protective work practices. This legislation applies to jobs of all sizes — it kicks in for projects involving just six square feet of painted interior surface.

Next Steps For Working With Contractors

Most homeowners aren’t aware of the EPA’s RRP legislation, but contractors should be. Unfortunately, many fail to maintain necessary certification. If you intend to hire a contractor to work on a structure built before 1978, insist on seeing proof of certification first. Better yet, write this requirement into any contracts you sign; experts at the Consumers’ Checkbook recommend a statement indicating that contractors will “follow EPA regulations for containing the work area and minimizing the generation of lead-paint dust.” Avoid working with any contractors who claim that such measures will dramatically increase costs.

Don’t let contractor negligence cause suffering in your home. Look to Regan Zambri Long PLLC for assistance with your personal injury concerns.