Lead based paint was fairly common in homes built prior to 1978. That year the when the federal government forced paint manufacturers to stop using lead in their paints.
As a result, in North Carolina, the seller of a home built prioer to that time must furnish a prospective buyer with a “Lead Based paint Disclosure.”
While we’re all aware of the health risks posed by lead, you might not realize that even common renovation projects can be hazardous in terms of lead. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create dangerous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to both adults and children.
To protect against the lead risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, as of April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child-care facilities and schools built before 1978 must be EPA certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
If you are embarking on a home-improvement project, be sure to use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it.
Here are some easy, common sense practices that should be employed during a renovation project:
- Contain the work area
- Minimize dust
- Clean up thoroughly
According to the EPA, to permanently remove lead hazards, you must hire a certified lead “abatement” contractor. Abatement (or permanent hazard elimination) methods include removing, sealing or enclosing lead-based paint with special materials. Just painting over the hazard with regular paint is not enough.
If you are planning a renovation project at your home in Highlands NC or Cashiers NC, please give us a call at 828-526-1717 and we will be happy to provide you with a list of qualified home contractors who specialize in remodeling projects. Meadows Mountain Realty – looking out for your best interest – always!!