Real estate agent alert: New rules for lead-based paint

A new rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at preventing lead poisoning from lead-based paint goes into effect next month.

The rule requires the use of lead-safe practices and is part of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, created by the EPA to help keep people safe from lead contaminated dust. Beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination, according to the EPA.

These rules apply to any activity or renovation at will disturb more than 6 square feet of lead based paint in the interior and 20 square feet on the exterior, in a residential and multi family structures. This new rule affects general contractors, painters, plumbers, residential property owners and managers, carpenters, electricians, and even maintenance personnel. Realtors and property managers should also make themselves aware of the requirements as well. They should be aware of the hazards of lead paint poisoning and ways to prevent it.

The EPA also states that “Deteriorating paint in such homes present a lead hazard through inhalation and ingestion of paint chips and lead contaminated dust and soil. Lead may also be present in varnish, caulk, and other materials. It is important to find out if