What Happens When the State Issues an "Order of Lead Hazard Reduction"?
If you are a property owner and have been served with such an order, generally you have 90 days to reduce all lead exposure hazards associated with the dwelling unit(s) in question, including all components located in the interior common areas, exterior, bare soils and components on the exterior of the buildings on the same lot.
Guidelines for ‘D.I.Y.’ Home Renovations
If your home or property was built before 1978, lead is still a serious health threat. In New Hampshire, it is estimated that over 10,000 school age children have had an elevated blood lead level at some point in time. According to a recent legislative study commission on lead:
“The good news is that the last decade has seen a decrease in the number of confirmed cases of elevated blood lead levels of children under 6 in New Hampshire…. Between 1997 and 2007, a cumulative total of 2,903 children under age 6 in New Hampshire have been identified with elevated blood lead levels.”
Individuals renovating, repairing or painting their own apartments, homes or windows should be following lead safe work practices as laid out in the EPA RRP rule.
Contractors Performing Lead Work
Before you begin any remodeling or renovation, it is crucial to know that EVERYONE involved in the project must be familiar with lead-safe work practices. The MHI program deals only with licensed lead contractors who are trained to work safely with lead.
In addition to getting cost estimates and checking references from several contractors, when hiring a lead contractor, make sure they are RRP certified and are well versed in the requirements under the US EPA Repair, Renovation and Paint (RRP) Rule and the State’s lead-safety laws.
US EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule for contractors
Beginning April 2010, contractors performing work that disturbs lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be EPA RRP certified, and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
Property owners are required to disclose information to tenants about lead hazards
Tenants have the right to be informed of lead hazards before moving in. Federal law: Landlords and homeowners are required by the federal government to tell prospective tenants or buyers about any known lead hazards before they agree to rent or buy the property. This law only applies to buildings or houses built before 1978. Homeowners and landlords are not required by this law to inspect the property, only to make educational materials available, such as the “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”pamphlet and a disclosure form stating that lead hazards may exist and the locations of any already known.
Lead dust generated by traditional renovation work can cause lead poisoning in children, pregnant women, yourself, other workers and even pets. There are simple, practical ways to reduce this risk.
Tips when working on an older home:
- Think Ahead … Test work areas for lead paint before you renovate, repair or paint
- Think Water … Mist areas with water before sanding or scraping to minimize dust
- Think Clean … Use disposable wet wipes to clean areas with dust; use a HEPA vacuum to clean up paint chips and dust
Do's and Don'ts
Working on a home built before 1978?
- Don't let children near work areas
- Don't eat/drink/smoke near work areas
- Don't use power sanders or grinders
- Don't use heat guns over 1,100°
- Don't dry scrape or dry sand
- Do use heavy plastic to contain dust
- Do use spray bottles to wet surfaces
- Do use detergent, buckets and rags
- Do wear overalls and change clothes
- Do use garbage bags