Lead Certification For All Painting Companies
Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long made it a priority to reduce exposure to lead, especially for young children. Exposure to high levels of lead can be particularly damaging to children whose nervous systems are still developing and to pregnant women, whose unborn children are growing. One out of eleven children in the United States has a high and/or dangerous level of lead in the bloodstream and in 1991 the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services called lead the "number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States." Children with these high lead levels can suffer from nervous system damage, behavioral problems, learning problems, slowed growth, headaches and other debilitating conditions. Lead from paint has been a particularly complex issue for the EPA and new certification standards for contractors will become effective in April and these standards will keep this issue a top priority for contractors and homeowners.
Many houses built before 1978 have paint containing lead. This lead from the paint, or from peeling or chipping paint and dust can pose the serious health hazards mentioned above. In 1978, the federal government banned lead-based paint from being used in homes and in1996, laws went into effect requiring individuals receive information concerning the property before renting, buying or renovating pre-1978 housing.
The homeowner should inspect paint finishes throughout the home. Generally, lead-based paint in good condition is less of a hazard. However, peeling, chipping, chalking or cracking lead-based paint is highly dangerous. In addition, lead-based paint on surfaces such as window sills, doors and door frames, stairs or railings, porch railings and fences can receive a great deal of wear and tear and can be dangerous for children. If renovations are planned or if there are concerns about paint and/or peeling, there are several other things the homeowner can do:
- Contact the professional paint contractors at Sundeleaf Painting for an inspection and for further information on lead paint and renovation practices and precautions.
- Decrease the possibility of lead dust by avoiding a dry scraper, belt sander or propane torch as these can create large amounts of lead dust and fumes.
- Never try to remove lead paint yourself
- If you are considering renovations, consider moving your family out of the house until after the work is complete.
In April, new standards will be in effect for contractors as they renovate and update homes, daycare centers and other facilities that provide services to children. Look for additional information about these changes in future blogs!