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Safety Guidelines

New Lead Safety Rules

As a Painting Contractor or residential rental property owner/manager, you play an important role in protecting public health by helping prevent lead exposure.
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, many homes, schools and day-care centers in the U.S built before 1978 still have lead-based paint. Ordinary painting and maintenance activities can create dust that contains lead.
New national EPA rules to protect against this risk go into effect April 22, 2010. Contractors performing work that distrubs lead-based paint in homes, apartments, childcare facilities and schools built before 1978 must be EPA certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The Potential pentalties for not following the regulations are stiff. Contractors can be fined up to 32,500 per violation, per day.

About The New Rules

  • The Lead-Based Pain Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) is a federal regulatory program affecting contractors, property managers and others who distrub painted surfaces.
  • It applies to houses, apartments and child-occupied facilities such as schools and day-care centers in the U.S. built before 1978
  • The new rules include resident education requirements as well as training, certifications and work practice requirements.
  • The rules apply to both interior and exterior painting and renovations projects.
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There are certain exceptions to the rules, such as when:
  • Work includes only paint applications and does not include sanding, scraping or other activities that may cause dust
  • Work disturbs less than six square feet of painted surfaces per room for interior work or less than 20 square feet of painted surfaces for exterior work.
  • The area being renovated has been declared to be free of lead-based paint by a certified renovator using an EPA recognized test kit.
  • Housing is for the elderly or disable and not regularly visited by children under age six
  • Immediate renovations are required in emergency situations.

How the New EPA Lead Rules Affect You

Effective April 22, 2010, if you are working for compensation on a project that will distrub paint in a home, school or childcare facility built prior to 1978, you must comply with the new lead safety regulations, including:
  • Painting and property management firms must be EPA-certified and their employees must be trained in the use of lead safe work practices. Painting and maintenance work must be performed in accordance with the EPA Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program standards.
  • You must provide the building owners and residents with a specific new EPA lead hazard pamphlet.
  • You must post lead hazard signs around the property.
  • you must follow EPA mandated lead-safe work practices such as detailed dust containment measures and lcean up and waste disposal procedures.
  • You must maintain written documentation fo your lead-safe practices in accordance with EPA specifications.
  • For complete details on how the rules affect you, be sure to visit the EPA website ( and download the brochure titled "Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right: EPA's Lead-Based Paint, Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program.")

Steps You Should Take Now to Prepare

Suggested action steps for painting contractors:
  1. Learn more about the new EPA Lead Rule by visiting the EPA lead website at or by calling the National Lead Information Center at 800-4245323 to have an informaiton pamphlet sent to you.
  2. Get Certified by attending and 8-hour EPA-accredited training course and paying a fee ranging from $310 to $870, depending on your work position. A list of accredited training providers is available at the above EPA website or by calling the National Lead Infomration Center.
  3. Follow the Lead Rules, effective no later than April 22, regarding resident notifications, lead-safe work practices, clean-up procedures and documentation and record keeping.
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