The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines lead-based paint as paint containing greater than 5,000 parts per million lead, the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 1532.1 defines a lead-containing surface coating as a surface coating containing greater than 600 parts per million lead. Lead is like many poisonous substances in the sense that it can go unseen, and unnoticed, until someone is suffering. There is a special concern with children and the presence of paints containing lead because the paint can have a sweet taste and this, of course, makes children tend to eat paint containing lead. If a structure was built prior to 1978, then it’s likely to have lead-based paint. The EPA recognizes this and requires special training through their Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule). The rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA, use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers, and follow lead-safe work practices. In the event lead-based paint is identified and greater than 100 square feet will be disturbed in California, a pre-project notification must be submitted to Cal-OSHA at least 24 hours prior to any disturbance (see helpful links below).
Lead poisoning has been associated with many learning disabilities, mental disorders, and physical ailments. If you have concerns regarding your home and potential lead paint issues, you should contact a consultant or lead inspector certified to collect the samples and ensure that consultant submits the samples to a certified laboratory for analysis and a lead based paint testing. The consultant can advise you on what the laboratory results mean and what practical approaches can be taken to address any issues. Our firm specializes in identifying lead in paint, soil, and dust, and the Guzi-West team includes a CA certified lead-inspector/assessor/supervisor and a CA certified lead sampling technician.
The Flint, Michigan lead water crisis brought about wide-spread attention to the dangers of lead being present in drinking water. If you are concerned about this, contact a local laboratory and ask if they perform the EPA method for lead analysis in drinking water; this test simply involves filling up a small plastic water bottle, completing a short form the lab will provide you, and delivering it to the laboratory. The cost for this test should be $30 or less.