Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.
To protect against this 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, beginning 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 certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Learn how to become an EPA certified firm and where to take a training course near you.
Read about lead-hazard information for renovation, repair and painting activities in the EPA lead hazard information pamphlet: Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) (11 pp, 1.1MB) | en espaņol (PDF) (11 pp, 2.4MB)
Read about how to comply with EPA's rule in the EPA Small Entry Compliance Guide to Renovate Right (PDF) (32 pp, 5.5MB).
Find additional EPA publications and brochures on lead-safe renovation, repair and painting and on lead poisoning prevention.
Beginning in December 2008, the rule requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint provide to owners and occupants of child care facilities and to parents and guardians of children under age six that attend child care facilities built prior to 1978 the lead hazard information pamphlet: Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) (11 pp, 1.1MB). | en espaņol (PDF) (11 pp, 2.4MB)
The rule affects paid renovators who work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, including:
Under the rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis. The requirements apply to renovation, repair or painting activities. The rule generally does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities where less than six square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed in a room or where less then 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior, but this does not include window replacement, demolition, or prohibited practices.
Previously, owner-occupants of homes built before 1978 could certify that no child six years of age or younger or pregnant woman was living in the home and "opt-out" of having their contractors follow lead-safe work practices in their homes. On April 23, 2010, to better prevent against lead paint poisoning, EPA issued a final rule to apply lead-safe work practices (PDF) (18 pp, 121K) to most pre-1978 homes, effectively closing the exemption. The rule eliminating the opt-out provision became effective July 6, 2010.