Renovation can be an exciting time in any homeowners life. After months of planning and preparation, the big day comes and its time to get the rooms you’ve been dreaming of.
Part of the process of renovation is knowing what can and can’t hurt you. Ripping out a 1980’s style kitchen and bringing it into modern times can be a lot of fun. Yet it can also expose you and your family to things you don’t want – things like asbestos and lead paint.
In 1978, when the Environmental Protection Agency became aware of the possible health hazards associated with lead poisoning, they banned the use of lead based paint.
Since that time, lead has continued to present a number of health related issues, most notably in young children. In recent years, awareness of the dangers of lead has grown tremendously. However, the problems associated with lead poisoning is still very much a part of our everyday lives.
If your older home has walls painted with lead base paint, its a perfectly safe environment – as long as the paint remains intact to the wall. During renovation projects, the lead paint is disturbed. The big misconception is that old paint can be removed without any health issues arising, if done with care while wearing a mask. Not true. There is a right and wrong way to do it.
On April 22, 2010, the EPA enacted Rule 40 CFR Part 745 – commonly referred to as the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. The rule states any contractor working on more than six (6) square feet of painted surface must be a certified lead renovator and practice lead safe practices handed down by the EPA. Safe practices prohibit removing lead using any methods that creates dust, chips, or any air borne particles subject to inhalation.
Which means renovating isn’t a matter of simply knocking down walls, and scraping off old paint and wallpaper. If you live in an older home that may be affected by these rules, make sure you find a reputable painting service that is well versed in handling lead based paint removal.
The EPA takes the matter of lead paint removal very seriously and has gone to great lengths to put into place safeguards to protect the public and contractors. If you have any questions about renovation projects and how it will impact your family, speak with a reputable painting company that can provide you with safe, quality work throughout your home.