As a Lead Safe Certified Contractor, we know that home improvement projects are rewarding but can be challenging when dealing with lead paint and the risks to both workers and residents. It can become a pretty complicated situation. The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule helps set some guidelines to ensure a lead-safe safe project – whether it’s a full renovation or just a paint job. Since it only takes a tiny amount of lead dust to poison a child, it’s important to follow lead-safe procedures. To avoid accidental contamination and lead poisoning, the EPA’s RRP Rule went into effect in April of 2010. The law mandates that any contractor working on a residential building, built pre-1978, must be lead-safe certified and maintain lead-safe work practices.
According to the EPA website:
EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.
Different from lead paint abatement where the purpose of the job is to remove lead paint hazards, RRP projects are just basic renovation and painting projects that involve disturbing lead-painted surfaces. Any project that disturbs over 20 square feet on the exterior, or over 6 square feet per room in the interiors falls under RRP work practices. Lead testing is not even required as long as all surfaces are assumed to be lead painted and lead-safe practices are followed. Everything from painting to plumbing can fall under this law if there is the possibility of lead paint being disturbed. The downside is that many contractors now have to deal with the added hassle of becoming RRP certified and licensed, but many of them choose to have the part of the project that actually disturbs the lead paint done by lead abatement contractors whose employees are trained and experienced with safely containing lead dust and protecting themselves every day. Then the general contractor can proceed with the job without worrying about lead paint issues.
To receive lead-safe certification, the individual must take an EPA-approved training course. Only one certified renovator is required on-site though, as long as others working receive on-the-job training and the site is properly prepped and contained. Before an RRP project is even started, occupants must be notified and given a Renovate Right pamphlet. This pamphlet summarizes the hazards of lead paint and how proper lead-safe jobsites should work. Once this is done, the work can begin. Like with lead abatement projects, precautions are taken by containing the construction spaces with poly sheeting, using HEPA air filters. Workers are protected by wearing HEPA-filtered respirators and Tyvek suits to keep the lead out of their systems.
Do you have a project that falls under this category? Let us know! As a Lead-Safe certified contractor, we’re happy to answer any questions or take on your RRP project.