New Rule for Lead-Contaminated Dust Will Help Protect Children & Set New Industry Standard

New Rule for Lead-Contaminated Dust Will Help Protect Children & Set New Industry Standard

If a property was built before 1978, odds are there could be lead-based paint present. Once commonplace, lead used to be added to paint to accelerate drying time and to prevent corrosion. Up until 1978, lead posed no serious concern about its health hazards, until federal regulations restricted the use of lead in paint.

In June 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that in 180 days, new, stricter standards for lead dust would be enacted. These new standards are now in effect and serve as a reinforced effort to further protect young children from the health risks posed by lead-contaminated dust. This lead-contaminated paint can be ingested if the paint chips or peels, or inhaled in a dust form. This was the first time the EPA has issued a new rule regarding lead dust in nearly 20 years, because the best available science today indicates there are human health effects at lower levels of lead exposure.

With the new dust standard the current concentrations will be lowered from 40 micrograms (µg)/ square foot (ft2) and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills, respectively.

These more protective standards apply to inspections, risk assessments, and abatement activities for childcare facilities, housing, hospitals, and schools nationwide. However, they will also serve as a reference standard throughout the industry, affecting other renovation and construction activity when lead surface dust samples are collected.

Why Is Lead Paint Hazardous?

Exposure to lead is dangerous for everybody, adults and children alike. However, because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead, children are especially at risk for lead poisoning.

Intact lead paint with no obvious signs of chipping or peeling often does not pose a health risk unless there has been a build-up of lead in dust on surfaces, for example, due to friction or impact surfaces or past uncontrolled work. It’s especially important to know if paint contains lead if there are children in the building or before starting renovation activity in any type of building. A proper inspection by a certified inspector is a critical step to avoid exposure. If lead paint is found to be present, proper management is necessary to prevent exposure, and for residential and childcare situations, there are additional requirements set forth by state, EPA, and depending on the type of housing, HUD. For construction workers, developers, facility maintenance personnel, manufacturers, and other employers that have lead-containing materials at a worksite, there are additional occupational standards, and the new EPA dust standard may also impact those settings.

Choose Our Environmental Testing & Consulting Firm for Lead-Contaminated Dust Testing

RPF Environmental is here to help you meet the new standard requirements for lead-contaminated dust. For 25+ years, our firm has conducted over 10,000 projects across 10 states, creating healthier environments. We survey for hazardous materials, including lead, asbestos, mercury, and others. Our industry-leading professionals are accustomed to following strict federal, state, and local guidelines, including the new EPA lead-contaminated dust rule. Our team at RPF Environmental is equipped to help you quickly handle lead-contaminated dust to better protect not only yourself, but young children, as well.

RPF Environmental ensures the health of your environment. Contact us today for a consultation by dialing (888) 293-0619.

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