Before 1978, lead was commonly used in construction, particularly in paint. However, in 1978, lead paint was banned in residential structures. Lead is a dangerous substance that can cause significant damage to the body if not properly handled.
Due to the dangers of lead, people working in a potentially lead-ridden environment must maintain safety at all times. To ensure this safety, workers must be certified in properly interacting in environments that may be dangerous.
In the state of Iowa, the Lead Professional Certification program is primarily managed by the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Lead Poisoning, with assistance coming from other departments around the state. This program is authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency. As such, the EPA does not directly handle the program. Instead, it defers to the state.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Iowa?
In Iowa, any contractor or individual who is providing maintenance or construction work in a home or a child-occupied facility that was built before 1978 must have, at the bare minimum, a certified Lead-Safe Renovator.
A certified Lead-Safe Renovator must be present anytime maintenance, renovation, or construction will disrupt more than one square foot of a painted surface. Additionally, anyone working in window replacement must always have a Lead-Safe Renovator on hand, regardless of the size of the disturbed surface.
The certified Lead-Safe Renovator must be present at the site during preparation and cleanup. At any other time, the certified Lead-Safe Renovator must be capable of being on site within 2 hours and available to be reached if needed.
To become a certified Lead-Safe Renovator, the individual must participate in a certification course that teaches the individual how to handle potential lead exposure properly. This course is required by the state of Iowa and the Environmental Protection Agency. Also, all certified Lead-safe Renovators must recertify every year, the fee for which is $60.
Any company or firm employing individuals who are providing the services listed below must also be certified. Additionally, any individual volunteering to perform said services also requires certification. The certification requirements in Iowa are not dependent on compensation. However, owner occupants are exempt from certification rules.
The rules for Lead Safety Renovators apply to all individuals, both contractors and staff, who provide the following services:
- Windows, siding gutters, and roofing
- Garage doors
- Central Vac
- Handyman services
- Countertops and Rooftops
Ready to get your Lead Paint Certification?
How to Become Certified in Iowa
There are many certification courses in the state of Iowa that pertain to the proper interaction with residences that may be contaminated with lead. You must attend one of these courses and then pass the certification exam to be considered for certification. You will need to apply for certification with the EPA, and provide evidence that you have completed one of these courses.
The courses for certified lead handling are as follows:
- Lead-Safe Renovator: This course is the minimum requirement for working in a residence or child-occupied facility built before 1978. In this course, you will learn the basics of how to properly and safely interact with situations involving lead-based paint or other lead substances in such a home. The course lasts 8 hours.
- Lead-Abatement Contractor: This course is for contractors. It focuses on the proper removal of lead-based paint. Additionally, it covers OSHA and HUD requirements as well as interpreting lead inspection reports, proper safety guidelines, rules, and regulation. The course is 40 hours in total.
- Lead-Abatement Worker: This course is designed for individual workers. The course is three days, totaling 24 hours. It focuses on properly controlling and removing lead-based paint. Additionally, it covers OSHA and HUD requirements.
- Lead-Abatement Worker to Contractor: This course is for workers who have already completed the Lead-Abatement Worker requirements. By taking this 16-hour course, those workers can advance to a Lead-Abatement Contractor.
- Reciprocal Abatement Contractor: This eight-hour course allows a contractor that is already a certified abatement contractor in another state to be certified in Iowa.
- Sampling Technician/Visual Risk Assessor: This course is for individuals to gain the proper qualifications to perform visual inspections as well as clearance testing of lead-based paint. The course is 20 hours long.
- Lead Inspector/Risk Assessor: This 40-hour course takes place over the course of five days. In it, individuals learn how to perform lead inspections. Additionally, they learn how to identify and correctly handle lead hazards.
Can I Take a Refresher Course?
As of 2017, the Lead Professional Certification Program operates on a 3-year cycle. As such, all professionals licensed to handle lead in the state must participate in a refresher course every three years. The refresher courses are condensed versions of the initial training programs. If a refresher course is not completed within the 3-year timeframe and new certification achieved, you will need to retake the full training courses and go through the complete certification again.
The refresher course for Lead-Safe Renovators is approximately four hours long. The refresher course is eight hours for Lead Abatement Workers and Contractors as well as Sampling Technicians/Visual Risk Assessors (although each has a separate course). Lastly, Lead Inspectors/Risk Assessors have a 16-hour refresher course. After completion of the required refresher course, you can apply for a renewed certification.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Iowa
In Iowa, the rules regulating proper lead-safety are managed by the state, primarily the Iowa Department of Public Health. Any individual or contractor certified to deal with leaded environments must be able to produce said certification on demand. As such, it is best practice to always keep your certification on the job site.
If you do not properly follow the state guidelines, as well as those of the EPA, heavy punishments may be placed. Large fines totaling thousands of dollars may be levied against any individual found not in compliance with these rules. Additionally, loss of licensing and business closure may also occur.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Iowa
- Research the training programs and learn about the certification process.
- Attend an EPA certified training program and pass the final exam.
- Receive confirmation that you have completed and passed the certification course.
- Apply for certification with the EPA using said confirmation.
Helpful Links for Compliance in Iowa
For more information regarding the effects of lead, lead certification, and lead management in the state of Iowa checks out the links below.
- Environmental Protection Agency – Lead Management
- Environmental Protection Agency Frequently Asked Questions for the RPP Rule
- The Iowa Department of Public Health – Lead Professional Certification
- The Iowa Department of Public Health – Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
- Iowa Lead Safety
- Lead Certification Requirements – Iowa
- National Center for Healthy Housing – List of EPA RRP Authorized States
Still, Have Questions About Lead Certification in Iowa?
If you still have any questions regarding lead certification requirements or participating in lead certification courses, feel free to contact us. Simply call ZOTA Processional Training at (763)444-5323, and we will be glad to assist you in any way we can.