Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Rules for Renovations
New federal regulations went into effect last week that require any renovations to older homes be done by someone who is certified to safely deal with the dangers of lead paint, aiming to reduce the risk of lead paint poisoning for children in Maryland and throughout the United States.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead paint rule requires contractors performing renovations on homes or child care facilities built before 1978 to receive certification on safe lead paint removal by EPA. Contractors who are found to have violated the rule could face fines of up to $37,500.
Although lead paint was banned in 1978, due to the risk of lead poisoning in children and young adults, a number of homes throughout Baltimore City and the rest of the country continue to have the toxic paint on their walls. When young children living in homes with lead paint inhale dust particles, eat or suck on flaking lead paint chips, it can lead to elevated lead blood levels and ultimately cause permanent brain damage, seizures, developmental damage, physical and mental retardation.
While the lead paint rule is another step in the right direction of reducing the risk of lead exposure for children and pregnant women due to negligent and uninformed contractors or repair companies, enforcement relies on someone reporting a violation to the EPA. In addition, the rule contains a large loophole, where one can opt out of the rule if the property owner can show that there are no pregnant women or children living in the home at the time of the renovations.
According to a Baltimore Sun story, the EPA anticipates that 125,000 contractors nationwide have passed the $300 certification course required to be qualified to handle lead-paint renovations. The agency was originally hoping for 200,000 by the time the rule launched.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and some other construction groups have tentatively supported the bill, but expressed concerns that there would not be enough contractors certified. The NAHB anticipates that the lead rule will affect 8.4 million renovation jobs each year.
MARYLAND LEAD PAINT POISONING LAWYERS
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential lead paint poisoning lawsuits throughout Baltimore and the state of Maryland for children diagnosed with problems from elevated lead levels caused by poorly maintained homes that contained lead paint. To review a potential case for your child or family member, request a free consultation with our Maryland lead paint poisoning lawyers.