The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) Milwaukee chapter is raising awareness of the dangers of lead exposure by observing National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week on Oct. 21-27, 2012.
New survey results of NARI National remodelers in June 2012 reveal a continued lack of homeowner awareness of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule, which requires certification and lead-safe work practices for any renovation, repair or painting projects that disturbs more than six square inches in homes and child care facilities built prior to 1978.
The recent LRRP data shows 74 percent of remodelers placed homeowners awareness levels of RRP and its requirements at either no awareness or poor awareness levels. In addition, 86 percent of remodelers reported no change of LRRP awareness in the past six months.
“The lack of homeowner awareness is very concerning to NARI members—more than two years after the rule went into effect—especially due to the health implications of lead exposure and the widespread presence of lead hazards in the current housing stock,” says NARI National President Dean Herriges, MCR, CKBR, of Urban Herriges & Sons, based in Mukwonago, Wis.
The LRRP rule is designed to protect pregnant women and children under six from toxic lead exposure by requiring contractors to complete an eight-hour training course outlining lead-safe work practices that contain and minimize lead dust. Those who complete the course must supervise the renovation of pre-1978 homes, and the contracting firm must be a certified firm with the EPA.
NARI is concerned that lack of awareness of LRRP is putting the public at higher risk for lead exposure. With this in mind, Milwaukee/NARI is providing this checklist to minimize lead exposure for homeowners living in pre-1978 homes:
- Verify at least one person is a Certified Renovator and has documented the training of the work crew and is supervising the work being completed in the home.
- Know that these certifications must be accessible at the work site at all times.
- Firms must post signs before renovation begins, clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area.
- Make sure you understand and sign the EPA’s “Renovate Right” brochure.
- Remove all belongings from the immediate area of the renovation.
- Notice if your contractor is using plastic sheeting that is taped six feet beyond the perimeter of surfaces undergoing renovation; reusable clothcoverings are not acceptable.
- Renovators should be cleaning up and mopping daily to minimize dust contamination.
- Contractors must use HEPA vacuums and/or wet mopping to remove lead particles.
- All contaminated materials should be placed in heavy duty plastic bags before your contractor disposes of them.