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Health Concerns on Pre-1978 Renovations

BE SAFE:   National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 23-29, 2011

Since April 22, 2010, federal law requires that all contractors who perform renovation on buildings built prior to 1978 must be certified in lead safe work practices. The law was passed to protect homeowners, their families and the contractors themselves from the potentially toxic lead dust.

In order to obtain certification the contractors must attend a certified training course on the proper practices for safely removing and disposing of lead based paint. Also, before starting a project the contractors are required to provide disclosures on the dangers of lead based paint to the property owners.

Known as the Lead Pre-1978 Renovation Rule, the disclosure is intended to improve consumer and contractor awareness of the need for lead safe work practices. The document developed by the EPA that must be provided is titled "Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home." The document and a multitude of other information on lead based paints is available by calling 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead.

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to allow states to administer their own program in lieu of the federal regulations however Florida has not been authorized as of yet. This means that Florida residents must look to the federal guidelines for information on pre-1978 renovations.

Although in theory because of the cost of the training and additional protective equipment, renovations may be more expensive, it is important because of the potential of personal injury that property owners only hire certified contractors for these types of renovations. In addition these contractors, if they do not follow the law could also face fines up to $37,500.00 per infraction per day.

To find a list of certified renovation contractors contact the EPA at 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead.

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