More than 25 years have passed since Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. How much of an issue is it in 2018?
Though the Lead-Based Paint Hazard act may seem almost antiquated, it's not. Consider that most states (and many cities) had established departments of public housing in the first half of the 20th Century. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), for example, was established in 1935. Today nearly 400,000 NYC residents live in public housing - most of it built well before the US banned the use of lead paint in 1978. And, the ban and lead paint remediation/treatment includes child care facilities and schools, in addition to some other public buildings.
Lead Paint Ban, Testing, and Treatment
The law, intended to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil, directed HUD and EPA to require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of housing built before 1978.
Contractors and property owners who fail to comply with proper and safe management of lead paint sites are fined and cited. The EPA reported more than 100 federal enforcement actions in 2016. It is much more difficult to track how myriad state and local laws are enforced regarding the removal and/or treatment of residential buildings with lead-based paint. From Maine to Oregon, and from St. Louis to Cleveland, a plethora of laws are enforced at the local, state, and federal level regarding the treatment of lead-based paint hazards - including how residue can contaminate the soil.
Download a free lead safety guide to help you in determining your options
Lead Paint Treatment vs. Lead Paint Stripping What's the Difference?
The EPA's 2014 answers to Frequently Asked Questions addresses an important issue - whether removal lead paint is necessary. In fact, stripping (removal) projects often take longer than other treatment options (encapsulation, containment or simply Treating the lead paint) and can increase the potential hazards. This is caused by the process of stripping lead paint, which often results in dust and chips being introduced to the surrounding air, water and soil - effectively adding to the risk of exposure.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question, "Is lead paint still a hazard in 2018?" is a clear yes. The good news is, since the lead paint ban in 1978, many new and effective treatment options have become available.
The EPA offers extensive guidance on selecting safe methods of treating any remaining lead paint hazards in public or private housing, schools, and child care facilities, as well as tips on selecting products and certified contractors to handle lead paint treatment projects.
According the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "Lead abatement is an activity designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards." There are many laws and regulations regarding lead abatement. Removal of lead-based paint requires special training, certification, and testing.
Chemical stripping of paint to remove it is considered an abatement technique. This involves application of a stripping agent to loosen the paint, so it can be removed; usually with scraping, blasting with abrasives, or water pressure wash. A huge challenge of this abatement method is proper containment the lead-contaminated waste produced. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlines disadvantages to chemically stripping lead-based paint; including the possibility that stripping doesn't guarantee complete removal of the lead threat.
Lead abatement by paint stripping can be cost prohibitive because of high labor costs and the chemicals themselves are expensive; particularly in the amounts necessary for large projects.
Additionally, the chemicals may:
- create additional hazards
- require additional or supplemental Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- require appropriate environmental controls
Operations such as abrasive cleaning of lead-based paint using shots as well as grit that gets hurled at high velocity at lead-based paint create a dangerous amount of lead dust. Shot blasting is necessary because it creates a suitable surface for metallic objects to get painted on. However, the government demands doing a lot of vacuuming and cleaning of the air using scrubbers to prevent the spread of lead-based dust.
Sealing and treating the lead-based paint may be a better solution. Use of paint specifically designed to both seal and treat the lead may be an easier, more economical way to overcome your lead problem and create a safe environment for workers.
Lead treatment involves compounds which react with lead molecules to stabilize them. (A molecule is the tiniest amount of a substance that still has the properties of that substance. A molecule of lead is invisible but still toxic!) This stabilization prevents lead molecules from becoming airborne and creating lead dust contamination. Painting over lead paint with a lead-specific treatment is considered an effective interim control by the EPA that
- reduces lead hazard temporarily until full compliance can be achieved.
- works to stabilize lead on surfaces that are slated for disposal.
- can be used to address immediate lead paint problems such as chipping and peeling.
Additionally, treating lead is far more economical and requires significantly less environmental control than a stripping operation. Prior to blasting in your containment system why not treat it with ECOBOND® - Lead Defender®? This solution provides worker and vicinity residential safety, reduces airborne lead dust particulates, and at the same time seals lead and lead paint dust rendering it non-hazardous for disposal.
Lead Paint Treatment: Eliminating the Hazard of Lead Understand the threat!
Large applications of lead-based paint can leave you with an industrial nightmare unless you know how to treat the problem. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) cites several ways to reduce lead exposure in the workplace. These measures, known as "engineering controls", include ventilation measures, excluding workers from lead-contaminated areas, use of water to contain dust, and replacement with non-hazardous materials.
Just remember: It is paramount to maintain compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations as you eliminate lead hazards.
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ECOBOND® Family of Products! Now includes Bitrex® a bitter-tasting additive to discourage oral contact! In the new Lead Defender formula, Bitrex® creates an added safety barrier to further protect children (and pets!) from lead poisoning by reducing the amount of paint chips or dust a child may ingest.
Bitrex® is the bitterest substance known and is added to ECOBOND® to reduce accidental ingestion of potentially harmful materials.
Learn how ECOBOND® - Lead Defender® is a Lead-Based Paint Treatment.
Download free Industry Report: www.LeadPaintTreatment.com