Do you have children living in your home? Or are you currently pregnant? If so and you're thinking about any kind of home remodeling project, or even painting, listen up! There's a new background check you need to run on your contractor. If you don't do it, your family could be in danger.
Starting April 22, new regulations require any contractor who removes, scrapes, sands or even 'alters' lead pain in a home where someone is pregnant or there are kids under the age of six, to be safety certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
This means the contractor is specifically trained to remove lead paint without exposing dangerous dust particles. If an area is only being painted over, the new rules don't apply.
How do you know if your home has lead paint? If it was built before 1978 -- the year lead paint was outlawed in the U.S. -- there's a high likelihood it does. Check your real estate closing documents to see if there is a lead paint disclosure form. There are also lead paint test kits you can buy at hardward stores.
Why is the EPA cracking down? Lead paint poisoning is devastating, affecting more than 1 million children a year. Inhalation and ingestion of the paint dust or chips can cause a variety of health issues in kids (and adults). If not detected early, high levels of lead in the body can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and speech delays.
If you are working on your own home, you don't have to be certified to remove lead paint, but the EPA urges you to follow the new guidelines.
You will find all the info you need on how to safely remove lead paint PLUS a list of contractors who are certified on the EPA's website. Check it out before you hire anyone.