Are you ignoring the EPA lead paint rules?

Envirnomental Protection Agency rules that went into effect last year require the use of “lead-safe practices” for renovation activities – including painting – that might disturb lead-based paint. The rules apply to homes, unless the work is done by a homeowner in his own home, and mandate the use of EPA-certified contractors.

A recent report (PDF) by the Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives indicates that the rule may have been improperly modified and is being widely violated.

According to the House report, the rule originally contained an opt-out provision that enabled a homeowner to elect out of the standards by certifying that no pregnant women or children under 6 resided in the home.

There is evidence that this rule unnecessarily raises costs, drives homeowners to use inexperienced and untrained contractors, and encourages “do-it-yourself” work which could actually endanger children’s health.184 A recent survey about the rule conducted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry shows that 77 percent of homeowners are avoiding the added cost of the rule by doing remodeling work on their own, or hiring a non-certified contractor to perform the work.

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