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If your home was built before 1978 when the use of lead paint was banned, then there are certain precautions that you and your contractor need to take before beginning any work on your house that will disturb the paint on the inside or outside of your home.
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring that contractors who disturb painted surfaces of houses, schools, and child care facilities be certified to work with lead paint. This certification is called the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certification and ensures that certified contractors have been trained to safely work on buildings that may have been painted with lead-based paint to prevent potential lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning can occur when lead-based paint is ingested or its dust is inhaled. When a surface painted with lead paint is disturbed by activities like scraping, sanding, drilling, or sawing, dust or chips may be thrown into the air, creating a potential hazard. RRP certified contractors know how to safely handle these jobs and the cleanup required to prevent poisoning.
RRP certified contractors like John Temmel at Temmel Siding are trained by EPA-approved training facilities and are certified by their state. Some states have slightly different rules than the federal rules, but all certified contractors are trained by a federally-approved facility. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia’s RRP rules closely follow those laid out by the EPA.
Remember that lead paint is only a threat if the painted surface is disturbed or if the surface suffers from weather or time related damage like chipping or peeling. If your walls appear to be in good shape and you are not planning on having any work done on your home, your risk factor for lead poisoning is very low as lead only poses a threat if it is inhaled or ingested. However, if you are concerned, you can find more information about having your home tested at: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadtest.pdf.
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