Skip to comments.Efforts to reduce lead exposure will add costs to some home remodeling projects
Posted on 03/12/2010 5:39:35 AM PST by ozark hilljilly
A new law that aims to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children will also make your home remodeling projects more expensive. While some say the law is necessary for your health and safety, others say it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Looking at a spring remodeling project? Be careful who you hire. Beginning April 22, if your home was built before 1978, you'll have to hire a contractor who is certified to work in a lead-safe environment. "You can bet that 1/3 of all renovation projects are going to be affected by this," said Luke Garard, certified trainer with Titan Environmental Services.
The environmental protection agency is enforcing the law that requires contracts that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. "When you have lead based paint in house, that can break down and create a fine dust in house that you might not see," said Kendra Williams with the Springfield Greene County Health Department.
That dust can cause ill health effects, especially in children. Symptoms of lead poisoning include learning disabilities, behavioral problems, hearing loss, even organ failure. "Anything we can put in place to protect children is great idea," said Williams.
But some contractors are more hesitant, pointing to statistics that show that lead poisoning has all but disappeared in some communities. In fact, in GreeneCounty in 2009, 1900 children were tested and just 21 had elevated levels of lead. "I teach the class to the guys would be affected by it. Generally, they think it's overkill," said Garard.
While home remodeler Adrian Rhoads says he supports any legislation that make his workers and his customers safer, he is concerned that it could turn away potential customers. "We're going to have increased equipment cost, increased material cost as well as increased time on project," said Rhoads.
"It is going to be additional costs coming at time when people don't have additional monies," said Garard.
On a large project, those additional costs are a drop in the bucket, but on smaller projects, remodelers say it can have a real impact. "If you're wanting to do one window replacement in home, it's gonna be expensive. Probably double cost of putting in new window," said owner of Cowherd Construction Trent Cowherd.
Many contractors spending the time and money to become certified to follow lead safe practices are also worried the added costs will force customers to turn to shady contractors willing to break the law. "Some will not get certified. They're gonna continue to do work incorrectly and eventually that will catch up to them," said Cowherd.
While they agree there are downsides to the new law, many remodelers agree that with time, their businesses, their employees and their customers will be better off. "Certainly we've heard a lot of people against it. But at same token, I think you talk to one person who has experienced the effects of lead poisoning and they would say had we done preventative measures, it wouldn't have been there," said Rhoads.
Contractors have the option to do a lead test first and if negative, they don't have to follow the lead-safe procedures.
If caught violating the law, contractors face a $32,000 fine or imprisonment.
The law does not require homeowners to be certified if they are doing work on their own home. However, landlords and owners of rental properties do face certain restrictions.
There's a lot to this law, which is why we are holding a special "Call an Expert" on March 24 to answer your specific questions. It'll be from 5 to 6:30pm. You can ask your questions by calling 417-268-3222.
The Environmental Protection Agency has also posted information on this new law, including instructions on how to hire a certified contractor.
Zero is focusing on our economy like a laser? Or a death ray?
Obama: “Half of my letters brand me an idiot”
Filing this in ...
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George Washington: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a terrible master.”
The law does not require homeowners to be certified if they are doing work on their own home.Do your own renovations.
Oh, I can! Do a degree, but stuff like electrical and major construction is beyond my ken.
This will probably soon apply to diy-ers, as well, so there ya go.
Not enough coffee, yet.
And needing new glasses.
Maybe the doctors can come up with a hammer holder attachment for grandmas titanium hip.
A sledgehammer to swat flies.
Lead is an overblown problem. Always has been.
Seems passing strange that during the heyday of using lead based paints we managed to invent cars. light bulbs and go to the moon to mention but a few things....
Swab every Section 8 and public housing for crack residue and then shut them down.
Works for me.
Grow the bureaucracy. Always job number 1.
And if you do talk to that one person who experienced the effects of lead poisoning you will find that the cure is to take your Vitamins - Vitamin D deficiency lends the body to be susceptible lead poisoning.
Eat your Flintstones!
Well that settles, it then; Mandatory bubble-wrap all around!
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