Lead paint law is a good thing, but is it enough?

For years, Angie's List has been at the forefront of calling for better lead-safe practices — exposing unsafe industry methods, conducting a national tour to educate consumers and contractors, as well as denoting service providers on Angie's List who employ proper precautions.

I'm happy to say that beginning 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 certified in proper lead safety techniques. This includes a new list of prohibited practices, including open-torch burning and high-heat guns, and using high-speed equipment — such as grinders and sanders — that don't contain a HEPA filter.

This is good news for homeowners and their families — and contractors and their families — who might be exposed to poisonous lead paint, which can cause irreversible brain and nervous system damage when ingested by young children. In adults, lead poisoning can lead to reproductive problems and nerve disorders among other issues.

Prior to the new rule, all contractors were required to do was give homeowners a pamphlet warning about the dangers of lead paint.

Still, I can't help but wonder if it's enough.

Currently, the new rule requires a cleaning verification upon completion of a renovation, which involves just a visual inspection, cleaning with a HEPA vacuum and conducting a wipe test. What we really should be expecting as homeowners is the more comprehensive clearance test, which involves collecting dust samples to be analyzed for lead content.

Also, reliable enforcement of the new law is still a ways off, so it's prudent that owners of older homes who begin a remodeling project not have a false sense of security and assume that the regulation is being enforced, and that their contractor is certified and will employ the new, safer methods. Complying with the rule will cost contractors more per job, which could entice less scrupulous contractors to skirt the regulation in order to offer lower prices.

While certification would mean an additional operating cost for contractors — the EPA estimates a range between $8 and $167 per job, on average — it's a charge homeowners should be willing to bear, provided they know about it in advance, as opposed to hiring unqualified contractors or working around lead paint themselves to save a few dollars. It's simply not worth the risk.

Good contractors who comply with the new rule should see an increase in business if educated homeowners avoid the unaccredited contractors. So, before you hire, ask your remodeler for a copy of his or her lead certification.

And to all the remodelers, painters and other contractors who work around lead paint, if you've been certified, contact our CompanyConnect department so we can alert members to your status as a Certified Renovator in lead safety.


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Comments

After reading all the comments, I am glad to see so many people who have not had a child affected from lead paint poisoning. For if they did, they would understand why this rule is necessary and would probably ask for more.

Those who applaud the EPA regulations and scold contractors for complaining: 1. Have never run a business, and/or 2. Don't have enough imagination to consider that perhaps the desired goals won't be met because of the way the EPA is approaching the problem. No reasonable person would trade profits for the health of children, and posing the debate in these terms is disingenuous. Stop with the sanctimony about the "health of the children" and maybe open your mind to the possibility that the EPA’s approach may fail to achieve its stated goals. This is a poorly-planned shotgun approach that fails to educate the public, increases the cost of work disproportionately – incentivizing both homeowners and contractors to skirt the law, and fails to impose responsibility in an equitable manner (the homeowner should also be penalized if they choose a cheaper, unlicensed contractor); all of which will inevitably result in a decrease in remediation where it’s most needed. The EPA should have targeted the most at-risk populations with a program that addressed the highest cause of lead ingestion (old windows in low-income housing), like Milwaukee did with great success.

Scott: Your last post takes us to the studies and statistic that "prove" how bad lead is. Yes, it is bad; but is it as dangerous as people are believing? Angie should be asking how these "facts" were determined. I have this as second hand info, but I was told (about 20 years ago) that studies were done with under-performing students and they had higher lead content in their bodies than other students. The studies ignored the fact that the parents weren't that bright either. Do expect basketball stars from parents that are five feet tall? This whole thing is overreacting at its best.

I just had 2 contractors pull their proposals for removing paint from my building's exterior wall, even though 2 home lead tests kits show that there is no lead in the paint. With this law, more people will opt to leave the paint in place rather than remove it. That way, the paint will have the opportunity to harm future generations as it starts to flake off in the future. This is the typical short-term thinking you expect from politicians.

I'm posting again. For someone who has been in the air quality field for 37 years, who gets paid to notice air quality issues this is another why. I don't know the exact number of people who lived well past 70, 80, 90 even 100 years that lived with lead their whole lives. I'd venture to say all of the worlds best minds lived with lead EVEN AS CHILDREN. I've seen plumbers, electricians, phone linemen (all the connections under ground were encased in lead and they wipe joints just like plumbers did until the late '70s, (me included) for repairing lead drain lines and repair lead water lines used up through the '30s before switching to galvanized. All your copper water lines up through the '90s had lead, all the faucets until the last year or two had lead in them. How did anyone survive this plot against our well being. Why isn't there more concern about air pollution, this causes much more harm. Why isn't there more concern with indoor air quality. Your carpet has synthetic glues, your cabinets have glues, you plywood under your feet, your couch, you chair the painting on the wall. There is technology available to remove this from your home. Why can't this same technology be used for the lead in the air, be used as an alternative. We are concerned with radon under our floors and remove it but leave the contaminated air in our homes above the floor. The out gasing of your laundry detergent in your home is more deadly. A water heater last half as long when in a laundry romm as when placed else where. Just think you breath in the same air the damages your water heater. Should I go on? I like to ask Angie's if they eat and have always eaten totally oragnic. The pesticides the harmones in you food are more deadly than the lead,( unless you are eating it as a condiment) Where do you draw the line on too much encroachment into our lives. Would'nt walking a middle road attempting to keep a larger portion of these things out of our lives work just as well?

Live in 1957 family home. Built by my folks, well maintained. Already, we need a permit to paint in our neighborhood (which is why many houses go unpainted, or people skirt the law). While Angie's List may have good intentions in supporting it, this law is a disaster. I can only imagine what our neighborhood will look like in a few years.

In addition to the controversy about the lead paint testing requirements and abatement, one thing for sure is that the Contractors will be required to educate the consumers, and justify the cost of the additional requirements in their bids. For OVER A YEAR, I saw television commercials and newspaper advertisements advising us about a change in the tv antenna to the box... Where is the campaign to inform the homeowners about this so that they are aware of it? The tv antenna got more of a boost in the media than such an important issue about lead poisioning? Really? What happened? And, if we're going to do this removal of lead thing the right way, then let's do it the right way... all the way. No lead in the toys from China that children suck on, and no lead in the plates and dishes from Mexico or others that families eat on... but, if you don't fix up your house... your lead may stay as is. It essentially penalizes those who spend the money to maintain their properties. It just seems wrong. The opt out provision removal is a disgrace. If I don't have children under 6 years old, am not or will not be pregnant, and do not rent my home, then isn't it up to ME to make the decision? If I were to ever sell my property, then that is when I could have been required to do the lead testing, clean up, etc. It sure seems like we're all getting kicked when we're already down. But, a HALF fix is just that. What about the other half?

THIS LAW IS NOT REALISTIC.I AM A OWNER/OPERATOR BUISNESS.I ALONE CANNOT ABSORB THE ADDED COST TO FUNCTION ON A DALY BASIS.IT ALREADY COST ME OVER 1200.00 WITHOUT EVEN WALKING OUT THE DOOR.I DON'T MIND DOING MY PART,BUT THE OPT OUT PROVISION IS A MUST TO KEEP IN THE BI LAWS. AT LEAST IT GIVES NOT ONLY THE CONTRACTOR A CHANCE TO GET A JOB,BUT IT ALSO GIVES A CUSTOMER A CHANCE TO DO THE JOB.I LOVE THIS COUNTRY,BUT THE WAY THIS LAW WAS PUT TOGETHER,I UNFORTUNATLEY FEEL THAT IT WAS ALMOST DONE SO CONTRACTORS WOULD GET CAUGHT WITH THEIR PANTS DOWN.BETWEEN THE FINES AND JUST THE FACT OF PEOPLE LOOSING THEIR HARD EARNED BUISNESS .ITS ALMOST LIKE NO ONE CARES ABOUT US AND OUR FAMILIES.I HAVE TWO ADOPTED BOYS AND ONE IS HADICAPPED.I VOWED WHEN I ADOPTED THEM THAT I WOULD DO MY BEST TO RAISE THEM TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND GIVE THEM A HOME THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE HAD,BUT NOW I AM A LITTLE UNCERTAIN IF I CANT KEEP DOING THINGS TO GENERATE WORK BECAUSE OF THE HIGHER COST TO RUN IT AND THE COST THAT ALOT OF HOME OWNERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SPEND.TO BAD US SMALL GUYS ARE A EASY TARGET FOR ADMINISTRATIONS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF.NOT FAIR!

This new law in infuriating. Its bad enough most of us are struggling, now we have to pay more to paint the outside of our house, or get it cleaned. No one will touch my victorian house now, and forget selling it. Who wants to buy it unless I spend $20,000 to strip it. There has to be better options. This is outrageous!!!!! Its hard enough to run these historic homes.

Angie, Something to consider - a clearance test will not be done on site, it is done by a third party, and can take days, if not weeks. Also, unless the homeowner is also certified, they are not allowed into the "working areas". If a contractor was replacing all the windows in the house, it would be difficult for the homeowner to occupy the house while under construction. When contractor is done they would have to wait until test results come back before they can enter working areas. Don't know why you would be unsatisfied with the cleaning verification test. Im sure you would hire a contractor whom you trust will do a good job, right? What would be the point of being certified if the homeowners don't think the contractors will do the job right?

is there some loophole that allows a homeowner to sign a release from this law if there are no small children in the house? we install vinyl windows, no scraping or sanding! we will walk away from a job if this expense must be added. furthermore, most homeowners will pay the added $$$$$$$$

The 'lead paint' issue has caused me immense trouble in simply trying to purchase a home with a conventional 80% loan. The appraiser required windows that had been painted over in the past year to be operational. When that job was completed, he re-inspected (for $150 of course) and then concluded that during the process of opening the windows that paint had been chipped and that the windows now had to be scraped and painted due to the possibility of lead paint. So, thanks to the new laws, appraiser's opinions now hold up closing, and they are getting away with charging multiple re-inspection fees because they are holding 80% loans to FHA standards.

Not to divert attention from lead paint, but for the people complaining about it, how many of those people use fertilizer on their lawn? I ask because fertilizer is many times more hazardous than a handful of lead paint-paint chips.

Angie, I applaude you for your concerns on lead based paint dangers. I wish this new program was a program that we could apply and conform to. Unfortunately the people who wrote it have never done remodel work. Some of the requirements are actually dangerous to our employees, and we can actually be sued for enforcing. Let's look at a program that will not endanger anyone.

Thank you all for the comments on the column. Obviously, this issue has sparked awareness and debate and we like that. Scott, you asked me for specific examples of how this can benefit consumers. I won't recite the statistics in Emily Udell's article; I think those speak for themselves. I will say this. I have a friend whose child was poisoned from lead paint and have seen firsthand the devastating effects this can have on a family. So I do have a personal experience with it. I've also talked to members over the years who have watched their children suffer serious developmental issues because of lead paint poisoning. Yes, this regulation will ultimately cost contractors and their customers more, but I think any family with young children would agree to pay extra for their child's safety. And clearly, these new lead-safe practices are needed. While many contractors have for years recognized the dangers of lead paint, others still don't get it. I had a contractor come to remodel my 1920s home and I specifically asked him how he would deal with any lead paint. His response? He didn't "deal with it" at all. Now, he'll have to, or risk being fined by the EPA. No amount of lead ingested into a person's system is safe, so by enforcing these regulations, the EPA is protecting both consumers and contractors. Angie

I am with Kurt, who explained all the drawbacks of this law. Here is another. If we do a small job for a homeowner whose job does not mandate the extreme rules, we are still open to law suits from our employees who can say we did not follow the law and protect them from lead based paint. It is a no win for us and the homeowner who owns an older home. My home is now worthless as far as selling it.

I've been a plumbing contractor for 30 years and in the business for 37 years. This is another stupid law trying to protect us from ourselves. I have been in more than 10,000 homes during my career. When I started we were still repairing lead, installing lead shower pans. I worked with many old plumbers most of that lived into their 80s, the only people I ever saw die young were the plumbers who smoked, and they still made it into their 70s. Would they have lived longer, maybe. Unless we place ourselves into a bubble there is always going to be something that affects our health. I agree with almost all the posts. I subscribe that it is a liberal conspiracy because many on the other side have voted this stuff in. The economy is so tough for everyone without this. This will not JUST add a few dollars. The overhead to comply will put many of us out of business. Or like me I just won't do any work on older homes. I already compete with the "Craigs list PROFESSIONAL" I have the lowest prices for an actual contractor in my area. So to get jobs I have to lower my price below my cost. Then I have to compete with the discount stores to sell products that I used to cover overhead. Someone contact me and show me where and how many people are actually getting sick. Everyone is just going to do it behind closed doors without permits locking us out of another source of revenue. I challenge Angie Hicks to show me the statistics on how this will help the consumer. How this will help the contractor that she wants as advertisers. I challenge all contractors to pull their adds. Someone please contact me me on where I can contribute to a repeal. I would again challenge Angie to show me how many homes she has visited herself and seen these problems.

I am a lead paint inspector and has tested many homes that were "cleaned" by the professionals under HUD requirements and funding. These houses fail quite often to be meet clean standards. So I can vouch that not following any rules leaves these house a toxic site. Does ignorance of you not seeing contamination level means that it's not happening?

I am a general contractor who took the EPA course. I did not like the comment about contractors "blaming the bureaucrats". Most homeowners are not willing to pay the real costs of performing construction the proper and legal way. The first time violation after taking this class is actually $65,000. Many contractors will now refuse to work in pre 1978 homes. Unfortunately, painting over lead paint without disturbing the lead paint is not an option. The EPA teacher used the example of removing a door with lead paint by removing the hinge pins requires all the lead safe work practices be utilized. This will add thousands of dollars to mid sized projects. Hundreds to a minor repair, i.e. replacing a broken pane of glass. Tens of thousands to large projects. The EPA is already on its way to require the clearance test. The EPA will soon be sued by many in the building industry as well as homeowners. This new law is not only impossible to follow in many applications but is also in direct conflict with OSHA safety laws. The EPA law requires 6 mil plastic sheeting be placed on the ground around a home ten feet away from the building and 20 feet in either direction from the work being performed (remember simple pane of glass replacement). Now remember you will need to use a ladder on this plastic. I encourage the homeowner who is now blaming contractors for whining to try this on flat ground. It is easier to put a ladder on ice than 6 mil plastic. Now try doing this on a hill. Homeowners without kids under 7 can opt out of these practices. There are many ways to contain the area and make it lead-safe. working on 6 mil plastic is not one them. Paper, drop clothes, hepa vacuums, clean air machines, etc. By the way, contractors can also be sued for testing for lead paint, because the homeowners will now have to disclose this discovery upon sale of their house.

Welcome to the new age of "Liberals Gone Wild." Don't let a good crisis go to waste. This is another good idea gone to the bureaucratic extreme of unintended consequences. Hey, wait till they come out with carbon dioxide quotas. Yea that's right. You'll be allowed so many lbs. per person then you'll just have to pay the fine for your non-compliance with the new federal standards...and you should be willing to contribute for violating the new global warming laws.

The worst part of this law is that there will be no way to sand exterior surfaces of older houses. I have been extensively sanding siding and trim with up to 24 grit sanding discs on random orbital sanders. I can no longer do this. I have given an unconditional 3 year guarantee with every exterior job. No more. And Angie dear, who will buy an old Victorian house? The value of older homes just went down 25%. And, by the way, first time fine for violating EPA rules: up to $37,500! What has happened to our country?

the best solution is paint over the ead paint dont remove it. I think toxic chinese wallboard is a very serious health issue but no government action on that.

I have also attended the training for the new RRP law, and yes, it will punish the homeowners who own an older home, such as myself. The real problem that I see is the the policing as I have been informed, will be upon us to turn in our competitors who are not licensed and in compliance. This is not right, and the expense will be far more than stated here. It will only punish those of us who try daily to work within the laws, not the Bubba's who the homeowners hire for the cheap price!

All of our project managers and crew leaders received the training and earned their certifications and we became a certified company. The training cost for the 8-hour course, including the day's wages, was about $500 per person. The estimates we've given since then for exterior painting indicate that compliance will add about $1,000 to the cost of painting a typical older home.

Anyone who doesn't think this is extreme does not understand the lead issue in this country. These laws targeted at landlords and contractors are all about protecting children who are ill supervised by people who probably shouldn't be parents to begin with. Statistics show where the lead paint poisoning is and it is not widespread - it is focused in certain areas and in some communities in houses owned by a few lousy landlords. This will be another reason to get out of contracting and the rental business.

In my opinion this is a unnecessary law. I grew up in an old apartment house in NYC, lead paint and all. I know of no family that ever experienced any problems as a result of the lead paint.

As is so typical of contractors and builders, blame the bureaucrats or others for policing that they should be doing in their own industry. First off if you would at least pay attention to the code requirements you have now, no one would have to worry about anything. The building industry is filled with, "get it done cheap; hire the inexperienced, hide what you can and move on. Grow up people

I recently took the RRP course. These new measures will cost thousands of dollars on some projects. I feel sorry for those that own a home built prior to 1978. We are a painting company and we have cut our prices on newer homes by 10% so we don't have to deal with older homes. Even as a certified lead renovator it is not worth the liability. We have increased our prices on all pre 1978 homes by 40% due to the new procedures and the potential liability.

My husband is a contractor and was also required to take the course. The measures are so extreme that on many jobs the prices will double. While I applaud the desire to keep the lead particulates out of living and working spaces, this measure is poorly written and executed. Those who need it most will not be able to afford it any longer

This new requirement will involve a lot more work, bureaucracy and cost than this Angie's list summary implies. It's a pain in the ***. When you add this requirement to the other code requirements we contractors are required to work under, you'll understand why many qualified craftspeople will either skirt the law (when they can) or leave the business. Even simple repairs are going to cost hundreds or thousands more. Another heads up: the fire marshals are lobbying for a new code requirement when the next version of the IRC is updated. That is-- REQUIRING that major remodeling jobs and all new residential construction SHALL include installing fire sprinkler systems. Can you imagine how this will affect the vitality of the building industry? When homeowners realize that the sprinkler requirement will add $10K+ to the cost of their project, how many will decide to scuttle the project altogether? The bureaucrats are killing this industry.

The certification required by the EPA is called Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) and the firm (company doing the work) must be certified as well and all workers that are in the contaminated area must also be trained. There is a lot more to this law and the EPA web site has hundreds of pages of info on the rules. Some homeowners are exempt, but certain things can trigger all the rules, even if they would otherwise be exempt. I took the course for the certification and as far as I can tell, it will be a while before all the implications are sorted out. I do know that it will be more than $200.00 per job and I think just the required paperwork is worth at least a $100.00. As far as enforcing the rules go, I was told by the instructor that the inspectors are funded through the stimulus package and they have plenty of them to get this program underway.

I've been in this business for thirty-three years, offering top quality services to clients and have developed a great reputation as one of the best contractors in the business. I refuse to subject my personal wealth and everything I've worked for to conduct work on a pre-1978 home. I don't care about your lead-based paint. This law will only expose more people to this hazard because contractors, like myself will steer clear of this nonsense, thus forcing many homeowners into performing this work themselves. It is government overreaction at its worst. Don't tell me to "grow-up" or that this is "for the children". The fallout from this law has not even begun to show, due to this current recession. But, when things begin to come back, the stuff is going to "hit the fan". With enough outrage from people who have suffered a loss in property value as a result of this law, changes will be made.

an additional $100 window, for a total of about $1500. The "abatement" was a joke. First, they had to scrape down to the primer to even find lead. I am positive, none of that lead was released in the process of the window install. They charged me for 2 rolls of expensive, thick plastic that they laid over my bushes and grass. It killed/fried a 30 year old azalea bush in the process. The plastic they used had obviously been used on another job. Then they put plastic over the inside of all the windows while they tore out the original window. None of the workers wore protective suits or dust masks. They turned off my AC and my dogs and I almost fried during the process. After observing this, I am convinced that this is government intrusion at the highest level. There must be some kind of scale developed to allow some latitude in the application of the law. If do not feel that the abatement procedures were needed in my window replacement, no paint was released, nothing was sanded, there are no small children or pregnant women in the house. What I do have for the effort is $1500 less in my bank account and a very big, dead bush in my flower bed that is going to be costly to replace. The contractor has offered me $50 to take care of the bush. I have received nothing for it over a month later.

I am appalled at the level of government intrusiveness that Angie advocates. Does she really realize the burden this places on the "poor"? I now question her judgement and now see her as just another liberal activist. I am most disappointed since I had high hopes for her publication. And yes, I did get my RRP certification and could see a cottage industry forming. Soon lead will be the new gold just like "mold was gold".

The new EPA RRP does not contain anything new or life changing, what has changed is the level of awareness and responsibility. I understand that with ruling small contractors are having a knee jerk reaction. But let us visit what was already in place that a quality contractor would have been following anyway. OSHA rules, in effect way before this ruling for worker safety: www.osha.gov/publications/osha3142.pdf. Truth is most contractors in home environment are not aware of their OSHA requirements, especially when number of employees does not require them to carry workman's comp (whole nother issue, but do know it affects your insurance rates...today.) In fact RRP training does not satisfy OSHA requirements. But let us discuss what it does do: 1)it is federal law that you be informed when you purchased a pre 1978 home you be informed about lead paint and dangers. Now, we are required to remind you. 2)Commitment to Safety: this is several common sense things that contractors should have been doing anyway. Keeping you, children and pets out of work area. Not tracking their work area outside of their barrier, and keeping area contained and cleaned as project progresses. Quite frankly, contractors can be very lazy with scaffolding and ladders and not realize how they are opening you up for liability...they should have been doing this all along. As far as the clean up and certification procedure, really...so they were using a wet vac where now they have to use a HEPA vac...are you truly the only job they will be doing this year? Quite frankly, this is a cost of doing business, not a cost of the job...the extra painters tape and plastic...well, you have been to Lowe's and Home Depot, you know what that cost. The extra labor, it is adding about an additional 6hours to job if had worker's OSHA rights as well as respecting homeowner's actually living in residence at time of renovation. Now, just so you understand, this does translate into an extra man day, but they are usually there adding value above and beyond what was contracted...just cause we do like sleeping at nite. The quality of contractor, their ethic, their expertise is up to you. Truth is that those who do Lead Abatement and Asbestos Abatement do not feel this law goes far enough. Having been through the training, utilizing it, I do very much understand why. There is no excuse for messy jobsites or ignorance of worker's safety (much less your own), believe it or not...a claim on my workers comp is a claim on your home owners. I disagree, I spend alot of time and money on training especially in regards to training. But that is the world of litigation and insurance....might as well participate in mitigating your risk now or pay later...cause you have been paying anyway (cause that is insurance game) anyway.

Glad to find out Angie's position on this law. I'll decline from joining her board and won't be supporting her or her list.

Paul Johns, I've heard too that this new rule and the draconian enforcement mechanism is Stimulus Bill funded. If it was really about the safety of the children wouldn't the focus be on immediate and rapid remediation? If the presence of lead is such a dire safety and public health issue one would think there would be grants, loans and tax credits available to homeowners and landlords to remove the lead along with hefty tax breaks for contractors who buy the equipment and get the certifications. But there is not...not one thin dime for those who have to dig deep into their pockets to satisfy these new requirements and keep their homes and businesses. That tells me the reality of the Lead Safe Neighborhoods Program is more about collecting fees and fines than it is about our kids' health.

I'm astonished that Angie is supporting this law; I thought she would side with the homeowners, consumers and working people, not the fascist bureaucracy. This a really bad law and I've already seen the results firsthand. My girlfriend had some paint peeling on her house. A city code compliance officer noticed it, tested the paint and she was cited for having lead paint and ordered to have it removed. In this situation, you have no rights of due process; inspectors can enter your property at any time without your permission. In our case they did ask for permission but also clearly informed us that they didn't actually need it. It has been hellish trying to comply with their ever-changing rules and demands, let alone finding a contractor who will go near a job like this. Of course this law also means that a homeowner is no longer allowed to paint their own house. Given that most older houses are owned by lower income people, it's easy to see where this law could force people from their homes. More foreclosures, more empty houses in already blighted neighborhoods, more depressed housing values...let's follow the money and see who might benefit from this. Oh yeah, the big developers. And us silly liberals thought it was about public health and child safety.

As a homeowner with three small children I have to say that I think this law is unlikely to help those who it is intended to help. I have been doing home projects myself, including scraping exterior paint, demo-ing walls, and the like and none of my children has ever tested positive for elevated lead levels. Now, I was careful to avoid contaminating the house, but it did not require drastic measures. So, put me in the group of people who is tired of the sanctimonious diatribe about how we should without question kowtow before bureaucrats because they have invoked "our children's safety". My younger brother had significant lead poisoning as child. After chelation, he recovered and has graduated law school. The source of his poisoning was not my parent's beautiful Victorian which they hand-restored, but from an industrial project next to his daycare center. I think common sense does more for safety than ill written laws do.

This new lead paint is the stupidist thing i've ever heard of. We should burn down every house down built before 1978. I'm more worried about the chemicals that we eat every day that the FDA allows than some lead paint.

This whole thing is backfiring. I went to look at a job last week to replace a bath tub with a handicap walk in shower for an elderly couple. (Only residents in the house. A couple that seem to make through all the years with lead in their lives! and are still functioning at a high faculties) I can't get any 'legal' contractor to bid on the job for the rest of the job. Here is a couple that are elderly, on a fixed income, with a little savings to re-do their bathroom planning for the future. Their house was built in 1974. So now we are "protecting" this couple from lead, just so they can fall and injure themselves or DIE. Another smart move by flawed system. There is more danger in the chemicals coming from your couch than lead. This couples crib they grew up in and their children grew up in was painted with lead, their gasoline had lead in it, their water service to their house they grew up in, built pre 1930 was a lead water service. Their windows were installed with lead, their paint in their bedroom living room and kitchen was painted with lead. I'm all for being careful, minimizing contaminants. Where is the out cry for our farmers who get lung cancer, (almost the same one as from coal and asbestos). We can go on on about our environment. Where is the science or even better the exact proof this will help the kids? What is the exact benefit when their house is unsafe because no one will fix it. Let's just let all the old houses get more and more unsafe. This law has been a big boon for the handyman. He does not care if he gets busted. He is already working without licenses. What can they do to him. He rents a room, he has an old beat up truck. What is a homeowner to do? Not do anything on their homes. At least someone is gettin more work from this.

According to the lead safe work class I took, there is no longer an opt out clause available to homeowners. The idea behind this that it is supposed to protect future homeowners with children. I agree it is out of control. $250 for the class, $125 to register my company as being lead safe certified, $150 to register myself, $700 for a HEPA vac, $80 for the air powered beater bar attachment, $120 per filter, $12 per bag. Where's the contractors bailout to help pay for the equipment required by the new law? As mentioned before the plastic used for work on the exterior is a safety hazard in OSHA's eyes as is the 2x4 dam that the plastic is supposed to be attached to. You also have multiple government agencies all with different requirements when dealing with lead: OSHA, DHS, HUD, Individual states, EPA. To top it all off, none have the same requirements. The amount of time and research involved to find out what agencies jurisdiction you fall under for a certain job is overwhelming. Also as mentioned before, examinations can be a requirement depending on the type of work being done and funding used to pay for the work. Say a window is being replaced and the funding is coming from HUD or another government agency. A clearance examination can be required at the end of the job. This exam can be of the room the window was replace in or of the entire house. Now if it were required of the entire house, and you did not clean from top to bottom one end to the other; as well as seal off the entire home and boot the residents out until a cleared examination is issued there is the possibility of contamination. If clearance fails, the home needs to be cleaned again, and another exam preformed at the contractors expense (even if a resident had inadvertently brought in contamination from outside). Additionally, this seems somewhat backwards with the EPA's ideals. The class I took literally used $250 worth of plastic, Tyvek suits, booties, masking tape, etc in the 8 hour class. All of these items are disposed of at the end of the job. Now think how much extra waste this creates on one job, now multiply that by how many pre-78 homes there are. I thought the EPA was supposed to protect the environment not aid in polluting. Finally, all the items disposed of are supposed to be wrapped dust tight in plastic, however they can enter the household waste stream. So you spend all this time plasticizing everything in sight keeping the dumpster locked down and covered; only to have the dump owner run everything over with the bulldozer releasing all the toxic lead dust back into the air and completely defeating the purpose of all of this legislation. Please explain to me how all of this will only add a few hundred dollars to the cost of a project. I figure it will at least double if not triple.

Will, We’re sorry to hear about your reaction to our position on lead safety. It’s an issue we feel very strongly about because we know firsthand what lead poisoning can do to kids. We stand by our commitment to do all we can to help homeowners know how they can keep their family safe.

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