As a contractor, it is important to be knowledgeable about the dangers lead can bring and how becoming EPA lead certified can be important for your business.
Due to the overwhelming presence of lead paint in the years before 1978, 75% of the houses in the United States contain lead paint. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 90% of pre-1940 buildings, 80% of pre-1960 and 62% of pre-1978 buildings have traces of lead, whether it be through dust, paint, soil or the water supply.
Children are the primary victims of lead poisoning. In the United States alone more than 3 million children under the age of six, have toxic levels of lead in their bodies. Childhood lead exposure is responsible for 600,000 new cases of children developing intellectual disabilities every year. Additionally, lead poisoning can harbor long-term adverse effects as children who suffer are seven times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely to become involved in the juvenile justice system.
Attaining the EPA lead safe certification will not only protect your workers, customers and yourself, but you will provide a major role in preventing lead exposure by educating others using the lead inspector training you received. To do this, it is important to understand the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.
This rule, which was issued in 2008, aims to use lead-safe practices and other actions meant to prevent lead poisoning. Overall, this rule requires renovation, repair and painting firms working in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities to assign each job to a certified lead renovator who has completed the EPA lead safe certification. The main standard is a federally-based program, but 14 specific states have their own qualifications.
It is important to follow up on lead renovator training because if you’re not certified, you can face fines of up to $37,500 per day, per infraction, when caught. There are four courses to attend: renovator model initial training, renovator model refresher training, dust sampling technician model initial training, and dust sampling technician model refresher training. These courses are also available online, providing a convenient option for those interested. Once trained, you will be certified for three years.
Completing an EPA lead-safe certification through the proper guidelines of the EPA RRP rule will set you apart and ensure proper lead safety for everyone involved.