Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes and businesses until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Beginning in April 2010, EPA federal law will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, businesses, and schools to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. This law will only apply to buildings which were constructed before 1978.
What Problems can Lead Cause?
Should I be Concerned?
There are other things you can do to protect your family every day.
For additional information about the sources and hazards of lead, please visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/.
The most common way to get lead in the body is from invisible dust. Lead dust comes from deteriorating lead-based paint and lead-contaminated soil that gets tracked into your home. This dust may accumulate to unsafe levels within the home. Then, normal hand to-mouth activities, like playing and eating (especially for young children), move that dust from surfaces like floors and window sills into the body.
Home renovation creates dust, especially in homes build before 1978. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips.
Proper work practices can protect you from the dust. The key to protecting yourself and your family during a renovation, repair or painting job is to use lead-safe work practices such as containing dust inside the work area, using dust-minimizing work methods, and conducting a careful cleanup.
Remember, lead can also come from outside soil, deteriorating lead paint, your tap water, or household items (such as lead-glazed pottery and lead crystal). For additional information regarding the causes and sources of lead, please visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/.
Especially in older homes and buildings (pre-1978), you may simply want to assume lead-based paint is present and follow the lead-safe work practices during the renovation, repair, or painting job.
You may also test for lead using a lead test kit. Test kits must be EPA-approved and are available at hardware stores. They include detailed instructions for their use.
We recommend you hire a Window World certified professional to check for lead-based paint. These professionals are certified risk assessors or inspectors, and can determine if your home has lead or lead hazards.
A certified inspector or risk assessor can conduct an inspection telling you whether your home, or a portion of your home, has lead-based paint and where it is located. This will tell you the areas in your home where lead-safe work practices are needed. They can also conduct a risk assessment telling you if your home currently has any lead hazards from lead in paint, dust, or soil. The risk assessor can also tell you what actions to take to address any hazards.
Please contact Window World for help finding a certified risk assessor or lead inspector.
The work areas should not be accessible to occupants while the work occurs. The rooms or areas where work is being done may be blocked off or sealed with plastic sheeting to contain any dust that is generated. The contained area will not be available to you until the work in that room or area is complete, cleaned thoroughly, and the containment has been removed. You will not have access to some areas within your home, and you should plan accordingly.
You may need:
Before the renovation work is started, Window World professionals will follow the procedures described below:
When the final cleaning is done, look around. There should be no dust, paint chips, or debris in the work area. If you see any dust, paint chips, or debris, the area should be re-cleaned.