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New legislation will hit US KBB renovators

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association membership will feel the impact of recent industry legislation. As of October 1st, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule addressing the presence and removal of lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities reached its date of enforcement.

The EPA regulation requires the use of a Certified Renovator and the incorporation of lead safe work practices in most pre-1978 residences and child-occupied properties. 

The federal standard defines lead-based paint as any paint or surface coating that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimetre or more than 0.5% by weight. Lead, which is a bluish-grey metal found in the earth's crust in small amounts, was added to paint for colour and durability. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

The health risks can be severe and irreversible, and only a small amount of lead is considered hazardous. Some 86% of all homes built in the US before 1940 contain lead-based paint, and 66% of homes constructed between 1940 and 1959 contain lead-based paint. The presence of this paint becomes an issue when renovation activities disturb it, creating dust and debris that can be swallowed or inhaled. Some 24 million US homes have significant lead-based paint hazards, while 38 million have some amount of lead-based paint. 

The 2010 NKBA President Mark L. Karas, CMKBD, CR, stresses the importance of compliance with the regulation and became a Certified Renovator as of March, 2010.

"I recommend that all remodelling contractors make time for the eight-hour EPA course and become a Certified Renovator. We must ensure that as professionals, we are fully educated on how to comply and protect our clients," he says. "Conscientious remodellers may have already been taking most of the necessary precautions, but it's important we always keep the health, safety and welfare of our clients and employees at the forefront." 

Firms and contractors performing work in target housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified and implement lead-safe work practices during renovation, adhering to the following requirements: 

•Firm must be certified 

•Renovators must be certified through training

•Non-certified workers must work under and be trained by a Certified Renovator

•Training providers must be accredited

•Lead-safe work practices must be incorporated during renovations

•Pre-renovation education must have been provided for those working in target housing and child-occupied facilities 

Lead abatement professionals must follow work practice standards, which include posting signs defining the work area and containing the work area to prevent visible dust or debris from leaving the area. This is accomplished by an outlined series of interior and exterior containment procedures. 

The EPA estimated that 236,000 individuals required the eight-hour certification class, prior to the rule going into effect, and that 47,000 per year will require training thereafter. General renovators, window replacement contractors, and painting contractors represent the largest group of professionals impacted

The EPA may suspend, revoke, or modify a firm's certification if the firm is found to be in non-compliance of the new regulations. Non-compliant contractors may be liable for civil penalties of up to $37,500 for each violation. Contractors who knowingly or willfully violate this regulation may face fines up to an additional $37,500 per violation, or imprisonment, or both.

For additional information on the EPA's Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule, lead poisoning, lead abatement, and certification training, go to:

http://epa.gov/lead or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

For additional information on the NKBA and other legislative updates:

T: 1-800- (843-6522).

W: www.nkba.org 

15th October 2010

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