Lead Safe Work Practices
Are there special work practices and materials that certified renovators must use?
Lead safe work practices, in general, control and prevent the spread of lead dust. Work practice standards are summarized in the EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right.
Are there any prohibited practices in the RRP Rule?
- Open-flame burning or torching of lead-based paint
- Use of machines that remove lead-based paint through high speed operation such as sanding, grinding, power planing, needle gun, abrasive blasting, or sandblasting, unless such machines are used with HEPA exhaust control
- Operating a heat gun on lead-based paint at temperatures above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit (from p. 23 EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right)
How do the prohibited practices in the RRP Rule compare to the unsafe work practices in the Ohio Lead Law?
The Ohio Lead Law is more stringent than the RRP concerning prohibited practices. Note that the RRP does not preempt more stringent federal, state or local laws. According to ORC 3742.44: “The following activities shall be considered unsafe work practices due to the likelihood that engaging in the activities will create lead hazards, and in no event shall any person engage in the following activities when implementing the essential maintenance practices portion of the preventive treatments specified in section 3742.41 of the Revised Code:
- Open flame burning or torching;
- Machine sanding or grinding without a HEPA local vacuum exhaust tool;
- Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without a HEPA local vacuum exhaust tool;
- Use of a heat gun operating above one thousand one hundred degrees Fahrenheit;
- Charring paint;
- Dry sanding;
- Dry scraping, except when done as follows:
- In conjunction with a heat gun operating at not more than one thousand one hundred degrees Fahrenheit;
- Within one foot of an electrical outlet;
- To treat defective paint spots totaling not more than two square feet in an interior room or space or twenty square feet on an exterior surface.
- Uncontained hydroblasting or high-pressure washing;
- Paint stripping in a poorly ventilated space using a volatile stripper that is considered a hazardous substance under 16 C.F.R. 1500.3 or a hazardous chemical under 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200 or 29 C.F.R. 1926.59 in the type of work being performed.”
What types of activities are covered by RRP?
Any activity that disturbs paint in housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, including remodeling, repair, maintenance, electrical work, plumbing, painting, carpentry and window replacement, is subject to the requirements.
What activities are considered a disturbance of painted surfaces?
Examples of activities that can disturb painted surfaces include, but are not limited to:
- Making cut-outs in walls
- Replacing a window from the inside or outside
- Removing paint with a heat gun
- Scraping paint
- Removing kitchen cabinets
- Removing paint by abrasive sanding
- Removal of large structures, including demolition of interior plaster walls
- Window replacement
- HVAC repair or replacement, including duct work
- Repairs resulting in isolated small surface disruptions, including drilling and sawing into wood and plaster.
The answer to this question was taken from Pollution Prevention and Toxics Frequent Questions, Lead, Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.
Is lead-based paint debris from a residence considered hazardous waste by the EPA?
See a fact sheet developed by the Ohio EPA on this subject. Note that the RRP Rule has specific requirements for storing and transporting waste from an RRP covered renovation. See EPA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right.
Are there any exemptions?
- Housing built in 1978 or later.
- Housing for elderly or disabled persons, unless children under 6 reside or are expected to reside there.
- Zero-bedroom dwellings (studio apartments, dormitories, etc.)
- Housing or components that have been declared lead-free. Such a declaration can be made by a certified inspector or risk assessor. Also, a certified renovator may declare specific components lead-free using an EPA recognized test kit.
- Minor repair and maintenance activities that disturb 6 square feet or less of paint per room inside, or 20 square feet or less on the exterior of a home or building.