Why is lead still a threat?
Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million properties, until it was no longer allowed for use in residential structures after 1978. This means any projects which disturb painted surfaces may cause lead-dust to circulate, posing significant risk to households.
What Does the EPA Say about Lead?
The Environmental Protection Agency provides plenty of advice on staying safe from lead poisoning. We test for lead as the nature of our work means surfaces may be affected and paint can be removed, potentially creating lead-dust. As well as paint, lead may also come from soil and water – as water-damage restoration specialists, we need to be sure our team will be safe, and our clients will remain secure after our job is done.
For households who believe their walls may be covered with lead-based paint, precautions should be taken when undertaking any renovation work: keep dust contained inside the work area; try to minimize dust as much as possible; cleaning thoroughly is also key.
The EPA recommends certified professionals are hired to check for lead-based paint: these people can inspect your home to identify any risky paint, and the locations it’s used in. Additional risks – such as lead in soil or water – will also be pinpointed, and the inspector will recommend ways to handle the hazards
How we Work to Stay Safe
The law demands that any professionals hired to repair or renovate a property built before 1978 have certifications to prove they know how to prevent lead contamination – at 911 Remediation, we carry certifications from various regulatory bodies. Our team is dedicated to maintaining the safest working practices and ensuring all properties are safe for use after our work is done.
Contractors such as ourselves, hired to work in areas with a risk of lead contamination, must do the following
- Cover flooring and immovable furnishings
- Seal off doors and vents
- For exterior jobs, keep the ground covered and, when needed, create vertical containment
- Avoid using any open flames
- Avoid grinding, sanding, needle-gunning, and using power tools without a shroud and HEPA vacuum-attachment
- Avoid using a heat gun with temperatures exceeding 1100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Clean the area using a mop for effective wet-wiping
- Clean debris and dust with a HEPA vacuum unit
The EPA demands contractors follow specific cleaning protocols: floors should be wiped with cleaning cloths, which should be compared to an EPA-provided cleaning verification card to assess if cleaning has been adequate. Apparently, research has shown that following the EPA’s protocol can effectively reduce hazards related to lead-dust.
More information on the EPA’s recommendations regarding lead-poisoning can be foundhere.
To learn more about our pre-work lead tests, feel free to get in touch!