Are you aware of new federal lead safety regulations coming down the pike? If you’re a homeowner planning any remodeling, interior painting or exterior painting projects, or if you’re a contractor doing any work in homes built before 1978, you need to be. And too many of us aren’t.
eginning April 22, the Environmental Protection Agency will require any contractors who might disturb lead paint in homes, schools and child care facilities built before 1978 to be trained and accredited in proper lead safety techniques. Those who continue to work without proper certification can face fines – but more importantly, they will be endangering the well-being of children who live in those homes.
Lead poisoning has already affected more than 250,000 children in the U.S., and housing experts believe 23 million homes still contain significant lead-based paint hazards even though the paint was banned in 1978.
We recently asked service companies on Angie’s List if they knew about the rules. Nearly 20 percent say they don’t. A survey of our members showed us that most of them aren’t aware of the rules either.
We’ll be doing our best to heighten awareness of the new regs, as well as the issue.
- We’ve begun to highlight the information we provide members about contractors so it’s easier to find those who are certified in lead safety.
- For years, we’ve encouraged contractors to get lead safety training, and now we’ll push them to get the certification.
- We’ll update our Lead Safety web page soon to offer information.
- Our magazine will feature the issue in April.
- We’re also working with the March of Dimes, Improving Kids Environment and others to raise awareness by participating in events and outreach.
If you live in a pre-1978 home, please educate yourself. And please help us share this information.