Although the dangers associated with lead-based paint have been exposed and it hasn’t been used for years, the current EPA lead laws are downright insufficient. Despite this fact, many contractors still will not comply with these rudimentary rules; furthermore, some of us that do obey the law question its scope and efficacy.
Information taught in the EPA registered courses that certify contractors is not actually found in the rule itself. One example is the use of suits and boots, which is not mentioned in the law. Professionals who practice proper compliance have pointed out that many of the instructors of these courses don’t even know the rule very well.
For all intents and purposes, the law states that contractors have to contain their work area, keep dust to a minimum, and clean up after themselves properly. This is where the letdown begins to occur. EPA RRP Compliance rules stipulate that poly/plastic only needs to cover the floor extending a certain distance beyond the focus area. Utilizing any vertical containment is left to the determination of the renovating contractor. In addition if the contractor, who is permitted to test his or her own work, can show through testing without independent verification that the paint contains less than 1 mg/cm squared of lead, then the RRP rules do not apply.
As a seasoned environmental consultant and certified mold remediation contractor, I don’t know why we did not adopt the protocols of my industry. When applied correctly certain practices such as containment along with negative pressurization could go a long way in further preventing the spread of lead dust in pre-1978 housing. EPA RRP compliance is too easy. I believe the EPA should look to the microbial remediation industry for procedure and protocol. Proper protection for workers and occupants can be found in mold remediation practices, which incorporate the use of respirators and suits. Environmental consultants who do mold testing and mold remediation correctly utilize a strict containment procedure that should be considered when dealing with lead-based paint and lead dust.
Advanced Mold Diagnostics
Advanced Stucco Inspection