Lead-Safe: At What Cost? - Page 4

EPA's new lead-safe requirements are bound to impact your remodeling plans and budget
  • Participate in a training course to learn how to perform lead-safe work practices. The course must be accredited by the EPA, or an affiliated organization, such as the U.S. Department of Housing.
  • Learn the lead laws that apply to their companies regarding certification and lead-safe work practices.
  • Provide a copy of their EPA or state lead-training certificate to their clients.
  • Tell clients what lead-safe methods they are using.
  • Give clients a copy of the EPA's new 'Renovate Right' brochure.
  • Ask clients to share the results of any previously conducted lead tests.
  • Provide clients with references from at least three recent jobs involving homes built before 1978.
  • Keep records that demonstrate that the contractor and their workers have been trained in lead-safe work practices and that they follow lead-safe work practices on the job.

How homeowners can live lead-safe

With a lead-safe home environment as a goal, what should you do if you own a mid-century modern home or are planning to buy one? Not every MCM home deals with lead issues, but it's smart for homeowners to take their family's health seriously. Here are four basic steps to peace of mind:

  1. Get educated about the potential dangers of lead and how your professional contractor can help you contain the risk.
  2. Get an inspection or risk assessment. Certified lead professionals may be certified or licensed to conduct both. A paint inspection will tell you the lead content of every painted surface in your home, but the inspection won't tell you whether the paint poses a hazard or how you should deal with it. A risk assessment, on the other hand, reveals if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust). It also tells you what options are available for addressing these hazards.
  3. Always ask to see a contractor's lead-based paint license or certificate. If they are not certified, ask to see a contractor's training certificate. EPA has developed training courses for lead-based paint professionals. Ask if the training received by a contractor was based on EPA course materials.
  4. Check the references of the last three lead inspections or risk assessments performed by the contractor.