Got lead? If you own older Chicago real estate and do some renovations, a new federal law requires your professionals to check. And, if you are one of those professionals, you might have some training to do.
The new rule states that Chicago residents who take on a renovation, repair or repainting project in homes built before 1978 must have the areas that are about to be worked on tested for lead-based paint.
If it’s found, the pros must abide by lead safety measures described in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule.
The law is an attempt to protect home owners and professionals from exposure to lead and lead dust. Exposure is dangerous and could lead to issues such as slowed growth, hearing problems and damage to the brain and nervous system in children, and reproductive problems, high blood pressure and nerve disorders in adults.
Under the new law, all restoration contractors, painters, plumbers, property managers or specialists getting paid for renovating, repairing or painting work in homes built before 1978 must:
*Receive training and certification from an EPA-accredited training provider for Lead Safe Work Practices.
*Be approved by the EPA as a Certified Renovation Firm.
*Provide home owners with the EPA pamphlet “Renovate Right” before starting the project.
*Ensure that only lead-safe work practices are used.
*Be sure that the required standard of cleanliness is met when the project is completed.
“This rule supports the EPA’s goal to protect children and adults from the hazards of lead-based paint,” said Scott Majeski, Owner of PuroClean Property Restoration Specialist in a statement. “Residents in the Chicago area who live in homes built in 1978 or before should remember that if they have work done, whether it’s emergency restoration or routine maintenance, they should ask for proof of certification from their contractors before work begins. They should also ask for the required educational pamphlet, ’The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right’.”
The law was supposed to go into effect in April, but today the EPA said it will delay the start until October 1 in order to give contractors enough time to get trained. Now, professionals must sign up for a training class by September 30, and the training must be completed by December 31.
“This rule potentially affects about 79 million homeowners. That’s how many homes were built before 1978, when lead paint was banned,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones. “We need significantly more contractors certified than the 300,000 who have taken the training course, and we also need to make sure that affected homeowners understand the importance of hiring a certified contractor.”
Homeowners can find a certified firm here. Remodelers can search for an EPA-approved training provider here. Or, contact your local home builders association to find a Certified Renovator training session here.
For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-LEAD.