Lead-Based Paint Regulations & How They Impact Your Project | J.S. Held

Lead-Based Paint Regulations & How They Impact Your Project | J.S. Held

August 12, 2022 Off By administrator

[author: Theresa Chimento]

First Edition

Projects that involve damage or disturbance of painted or coated surfaces, as well as development or improvements of existing structures, may involve some level of lead impact regardless of the type, age, or location of the property. The use of lead in paints and coatings has not been completely banned in the United States, and elevated blood lead concentrations in children and adult workers resulting in adverse health effects is still an issue today. Federal, state, and local regulations are in place and are continually updated to reduce human exposure to lead.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed standards and guidelines to eliminate lead-based paint hazards and prevent childhood lead poisoning. These standards and guidelines were implemented after Congress reported in 1992 that low-level lead poisoning was afflicting as many as 3,000,000 children under the age of 6, mainly as a result of ingestion of household dust containing lead.1 To further eliminate potential childhood lead exposure, the EPA and HUD recently adopted new standards that reduce the allowable concentrations of lead in dust.

These regulatory changes are applicable to projects that require the removal of lead-based paint or a lead-based paint hazard, i.e. abatement projects. These changes are not applicable to most renovation or restoration projects. Regulations are in place to protect occupants and workers from lead exposure during these activities. Understanding the implication of applicable and current regulations is essential in order for a successful project to ensure regulatory compliance, to limit liability, to eliminate the potential of creating lead hazards, and to understand how compliance can impact project timelines and costs.

Prior to the start of any project, there must be a clear understanding of potential environmental hazards impacting the property and the regulatory compliance requirements to address them. Lead is one commonly encountered environmental hazard. Regulatory compliance is required for most projects to address occupational and/or childhood exposure to lead and lead-based paint.

It is a regulatory requirement to protect employees from occupational exposure to lead. This is true on every project and in any setting, whether the property is residential, commercial, public, or industrial. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state-specific programs are in place to protect workers from exposure to lead in a variety of forms, not just in lead-based paint. The requirements to implement specific regulatory compliance activities are triggered when workers are exposed to lead above established standards, as confirmed through air monitoring. Regulatory compliance is the contractor’s responsibility—as the employer to the employee—and is factored into work requirements and…

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