Lead-Safe Home Renovation Guidelines - Effective 8/1/2011
The Environmental Protection Agency has new guidelines that are intended to protect kids and adults from the devastating effects of lead poisoning. These new guidelines are specifically aimed at protecting children younger than six and pregnant women.
Starting August 1, 2011, many home renovations must be performed under completely different rules. The new rules apply to homes built before 1978, ones most likely to contain lead-based products such as certain paints.
When hiring a contractor for home renovation, the contractor must provide the homeowner with an educational pamphlet of lead-safe practices.
Upon renovation, contractors must build a containment area so dust cannot travel throughout the home. They also must use special vacuums to suck small dust particles, then clean after themselves in a special manner and perform testing to ensure all lead dust is wiped away.
Contractors have to pay for this special training and equipment, which means the cost will be passed on and renovation jobs will likely be more expensive than last year.
Safety officials say the increased costs do are worth the public health benefits. Said Marjean Hoeft with Sustainable Resources Center: “The more usual way of kids being contaminated is through the dust. Every time you open a window and close a window it then gets in their lungs and can cause a lot of learning disabilities, challenges and asthma.”
The EPA began a public service announcement campaign at the beginning of December. If the EPA finds a contractor failing to comply with the new rules, the contractor will be fined $37,500 per day.
To request more information about this new program and its rules, please visit MN Dept of Health or call 651-201-5000.