Lead is a toxic material that was commonly used in household paints up until 1978, when it was banned by federal regulations due to the harmful impact which it has on the human body. Today there are a lot of Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and Zero-VOC Paints, which reduce the risks of headaches, respiratory and skin irritation, and central nervous system issues. Even though the manufacture of lead paints has been stopped ever since the second half of the 20th century, the firms that perform renovation, repair, and painting projects (RRP) still face lead based paints hazards.
According to the rule starting April 22, 2010, all companies providing RRP services that have any contact with lead-based paints are obliged to have a lead renovator certification, that confirms that they follow the specific work practices helping to avoid lead contamination. In order to receive such a document, workers need to complete training and take an EPA certification test online.
What are the main health hazards of lead based paint?
This toxic product can cause different diseases in children and adults, such as:
- Kidney, brain, and nerves damage,
- Memory, fertility, concentration and hearing problems,
- Increased blood pressure,
The paint is not dangerous if it’s in good condition. However, when it starts deteriorating, it might easily accumulate on clothes, toys, bedding, or furniture. To find out if the house contains this toxic product, a lead based paint testing is required. It’s important to remember that regular contact with lead elements through these things or inhaling the dust might cause the above-mentioned side effects.
How to protect the workers from the lead on the construction site?
- First of all, EPA lead certification lookup is needed. It is an absolute must that all the employees know how to handle the work with lead based paints, therefore it is necessary to find a course which will teach this skill.
- Secondly, you need to control the risk by limiting the amount of dust or fume that you create (using the chemical paint stripper, wet abrasive paper, and scraper, or infrared equipment).
- Prevent the spread. Use plastic sheeting to divide the work and cover the surface of soft furnishing. Clean everything after the work is done.
- Wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), disposable clothing, and gloves. Do not use them in the remaining areas and keep them separate from personal clothing.
- Take breaks and eat meals outside of the work area. Try to spend as little time as possible on the contaminated area.
- Provide relevant training to all the workers which stay in contact with the toxic materials.
- Supervise the work to make sure that all security measures are taken.