Are you lead-safe certified?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, expects more than 125,000 renovation and remodeling contractors to meet the April 22 deadline to be trained in lead-safe work practices. The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule is designed to protect millions of children from lead poisoning.
   Anyone receiving compensation for renovating, repairing, and painting work in residences built before 1978, and who disturbs painted surfaces, is subject to the new rule. Also affected by the RRP are those performing similar work on facilities occupied by children under six years of age, such as schools and day-care centers built prior to 1978.
   “This rule strengthens EPA’s goal to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint,” said Acting Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg. “To be certified, a contractor needs to take a simple one-day course. Beginning April 22, 2010, consumers should ask for proof of certification before work begins.” The certification is valid for five years.
   To date, EPA has certified 184 training providers who have conducted more than 4,900 courses. An estimated 100,000 people in the construction and remodeling industries have been trained. EPA has a number of efforts under way to expedite the training and certification process. Included are a print and radio campaign to highlight the benefits of hiring lead-safe-certified firms. As a result, it is expected that training capacity will continue to increase significantly as the April 22 deadline approaches. It is likely that many more contractors and renovators will seek and obtain training after the deadline.
   To locate local EPA-accredited RRP training providers using EPA’s search tool. Click here for information on firm certification. Learn more about the EPA’s lead program at L. Parr