The dangers of lead are well known by now and most people are already aware of how widespread the use of lead and lead based paint has once been. Many homes still have high levels of lead in it, which may cause high risk for the inhabitants. Most homes that were built before 1960 will have some level of lead in their structure and lead paint can still be found in many homes that were built before 1978. This is why working with an RRP certified contractor is essential when conducting renovations on residences that were built before that time. But what is an RRP certified contractor and why are they so important?
What is an EPA RRP Certified Contractor?
Due to the rising concerns about lead in structures and its dangers during renovations, especially for children, the EPA created the Renovation, Repair and Painting program in order to reduce the risk of exposure during contracting jobs.
Under these rules, any contractor working in child occupied buildings built before 1978 has to have undergone certification and followed strict rules to prevent contamination. So why exactly is working with an EPA RRP certified contractor so important?
Protects the Health of Adults and Children
Lead regulations help prevent the risks associated with lead from affecting the health of the inhabitants. While lead poisoning can be especially disastrous for young children, it can have many adverse effects on adults as well. Lead has been associated with high blood pressure, decreased brain function, and higher rates of miscarriages. In children, it has been linked to cognitive impairment and nervous system dysfunction among other things.
To Keep the Property Safe
Certified contractors are specifically trained to prevent the spread of lead during renovation work. To get their certification work, they must go through an extensive eight-hour course where they learn things like how to create a safe working space, minimizing dust creation and spread, proper clean up techniques, checking for any signs of remaining dust and training other workers as well.
It’s Required by Law
Any contractor who violates any of the lead regulations will be fined up to $37,500 per day for each violation they commit. This means that your project could eventually be shut down by the EPA. That’s why it’s essential that you screen any potential contractors and verify that they follow regulations as well.
When you call a contractor over to take a look at the job, ask them details about the procedures and see if they are aware of current and potential lead regulations. Check if they try to gloss over details and give you short, summary answers to your questions. If they can’t clearly explain how they will contain debris and dust and keep the occupants safe, then you should consider looking for someone else.
Hiring an EPA RRP certified contractor is not only essential for your own personal safety, but it’s also required by law. So, if your home was constructed before 1978, make sure that you hire an EPA consultant if you want to remain compliant.