There was a time when lead was an exceptionally common material in building and construction. Lead was commonly included in paint, with some paints containing up to 50% lead. However, in 1978 the use of lead in any construction was banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Homes built before this year are likely to contain some amount of lead.
Lead is a hazardous substance that can significantly damage the nervous system, leading to lower IQ, behavioral issues, and learning disabilities. These health issues are considerably increased in children and pregnant women. In an effort to limit the dangers and damage caused by lead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates regulations for how work must be completed in possibly lead-ridden environments.
As of 2010, individuals and firms working on renovations, repairs, or painting in homes or child-occupied buildings built before 1978 must become certified in EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP). The Lead-Based Paint Program, adopted on September 29, 2011, is managed by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). However, the Environmental Protection Agency oversees the management of the program.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Arkansas?
In the state of Arkansas, all contractors or individual laborers who perform maintenance or construction work in homes or child-occupied properties that were built before 1978 are required to become certified is handling lead. You can do so by taking proper courses and becoming a certified Lead Renovator.
You will need to become a Certified Lead Renovator if you’re working in any capacity that may affect, displace, or remove lead-based paint or areas that may be affected by lead-based paint. This list includes, but is not limited to, all of the following professional services:
- Home Maintenance
- Home Renovations
- Property Management overseeing any of the above functions.
- Companies or Firms employing any of the above individuals.
Ready to get your Lead Paint Certification?
Homeowners performing renovations in pre-1978 homes are exempt from being RRP Lead Certified under the following conditions:
- The dwelling is occupied by only the homeowner and the immediate family of the homeowner during the time frame that the construction or renovation is occurring.
- There are no children in the household who have been identified as having elevated levels of lead in their blood.
If either of these conditions is not true, the homeowner must also be a certified Lead Renovator, per the Arkansas Rules Pertaining to Lead-Based Paint Activities.
How to Become Certified in Arkansas
The baseline requirement for working in homes and child-occupied facilities that were built before 1978 is to become a certified lead renovator. To become a certified lead renovator, you must complete an EPA approved Lead Renovator Training Course.
The training to become a certified lead renovator covers state and federal safety regulations, the adverse health effects caused by lead, and the procedures to properly set-up and working within an environment that may be contaminated with lead. The training course lasts eight hours.
Additionally, there are multiple programs offered by the Arkansas Department of Health for lead certification. The lead certification roles are as follows:
- Inspector: As can be imagined, a lead paint inspector performs inspections to confirm the presence of lead in a building or dwelling. The course for becoming a lead inspector totals 24 hours.
- Risk Assessor: Lead risk assessors must be certified lead inspectors before they can apply for the class. Similarly to the inspector position, they are responsible for performing assessments of a dwelling to confirm the presence of lead, take samples, and determine how severe the hazard may be for the occupants. The risk assessor certification class is a 16-hour course.
- Abatement Worker: Lead abatement is the removal of lead-based hazards from an environment. Workers are trained to safely handle lead contaminants and remove them from the premises. Abatement worker training takes 16 hours.
- Abatement Supervisor: To become a lead abatement supervisor, you must first have at least one year of experience as an abatement worker. Supervisor training provides additional information on lead abatement work. Abatement supervisors can perform the same duties as an abatement worker, but supervisors also create lead abatement plans and are responsible for occupant safety. The course takes 32 hours.
- Project Designer: A Lead project designer must first complete the lead abatement supervisor training course. This role is responsible for creating plans to completely remove lead-based paint and hazards from a residence. Additionally, the project designer oversees the project and all activities related to the lead removal. The training course takes eight hours.
Can I Take a Refresher Course?
Individuals who have already completed the RRP Lead Renovator Initial Certification in Arkansas are required to take a refresher course to renew their certification. Recertification via this renewal course is required to be completed every five years. In the state of Arkansas, the renewal course can also be taken online. However, the online renewal course is only valid for three years.
Additionally, the renewal course and recertification must be completed before the expiration deadline. As such, it is best practice to take the renewal course a few months ahead of the certification expiration date to allow for time to complete the renewal. The refresher course is approximately four hours.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Health oversees the Arkansas Lead-Based Paint-Regulation, with the Environmental Protection Agency maintaining oversight authority. This regulation specifies the requirements for certification, licensing, and training programs to handle lead-based paint. Failure to adequately comply with these regulations can result in punitive measures. These punishments can include heavy fees, up to $37,500 per day, as well as the loss of licenses.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Arkansas
- Learn about available training programs and the process of getting certified.
- Attend a training program certified by the EPA and pass the final exam.
- Obtain evidentiary documentation confirming you have completed the requisite course.
- Submit your application for certification to the EPA.
Helpful Links for Compliance in Arkansas
The links below provide additional information regarding lead management regulations and the process of obtaining certification for working in leaded environments in the state of Arkansas.
- Environmental Protection Agency – Lead Management
- Environmental Protection Agency Frequently Asked Questions for the RPP Rule
- Arkansas Department of Health – Lead-Based Paint Program
- Arkansas State Board of Health – Rules Pertaining to Lead-Based Paint Activities
- Lead Certification Requirements – Arkansas
- National Center for Healthy Housing – List of EPA RRP Authorized States
Still, Have Questions About Lead Certification in Arkansas?
If you have more regarding lead certification course requirements or how to become lead certifies, feel free to contact us. Call ZOTA Professional Training at 763-444-5323 today, and we will be glad to walk you through it.