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Mack McCoy's Blog

By Mack McCoy | Broker in Seattle, WA

EPA to Certify Lead-Safe Contractors

Every year, over 300,000 children aged 1-5 are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. The most common form of exposure comes from lead dust generated by renovation work in homes built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned by the U.S. Government.

Typically, that lead is safely contained under several coats of lead-free latex and oil paint. However, during renovations and remodeling, and especially when sanding, old paint dust readily scatters throughout the home, and can be easily inhaled and ingested by children and pets. Heat stripping is even worse!

To protect against this risk, the EPA has issued a rule requiring contractors to become trained and certified in lead-safe practices.

These simple, low-cost, and common-sense steps can be taken by homeowners performing their own work in older homes, and a guide is available from the EPA website, describing workspace preparation, containment, and worker protection.

The current “action level” for lead in children is 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood; the Washington Toxics Coalition (http://watoxics.org) found that the average lead level on one square meter of interior carpet in a remodeled home was 35,100 micrograms.

We’ve put links to more information on our website.
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