Procedures for Dealing with Lead Paint
When painting a new structure workers are not exposed to lead because lead-based paint for residential use was banned in 1978. However, most buildings built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. While repainting old buildings, workers and clients can be exposed to lead during preparation work (scraping and sanding).
Lead can be absorbed by ingestion or inhalation. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) lead overexposure can damage the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, hematological system, and kidneys.
Arch Painting takes employee and client safety seriously! To eliminate lead overexposure we have developed a complete Lead Program.
These procedures are designed to protect the property and the surrounding environment where renovation or rehabilitation work is being performed. When working on structures built prior to 1978, the contractor must assume and act as if exterior surfaces have not been made lead safe. It is the contractor’s responsibility to comply with the laws and procedures to avoid improper removal, disturbance, or handling of lead paint.
Compliance with the Law
All renovation or rehabilitation work involving surfaces that have not been documented to be lead safe shall be performed in compliance with all applicable laws, statutes, professional standards, building codes, rules, orders, by-laws, ordinances, regulations, and requirements relating to lead paint, including but not limited to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 21E and chapter 111, 454 C.M.R.22.00et.seq., and including but not limited to laws and regulations regarding training, monitoring, notice, and record-keeping.
Handling lead paint is not very complicated but requires being conscientious. Below is a basic outline of procedures
- Close all windows and storm windows. Cover all doors and windows on the side of the building where the work is being conducted with 6 mil polyethylene sheeting.
- Secure one layer of 6 mil polyethylene plastic to the foundation with duct tape or other adhesives that will not permanently alter the foundation.
- Plastic sheeting should extend from the building 20 feet. ½ inch plywood should be placed on top of sheeting where work activities might reasonably expect to puncture sheeting.
- Workers wear individually fitted respirators with Hepa Filters to protect against lead dust.
- Wearing of proper disposable suits.
- No eating or drinking without washing hands will be permitted.
- No power sander or disk sanders should be used.
- Precautions must be taken to ensure bushes, ground cover, shrubbery, etc. are not damaged or burnt as a result of being covered with polyethylene sheathing (i.e. canvas or tarps may be put over plants to prevent overheating and stakes used to prevent crushing).
- Clean up all visible debris at the conclusion of each workday.
- HEPA vacuum any fine dust
Read more about protecting your family and home from lead paint: