Is your painting contractor Lead-Safe Certified Firm?
Since 1997 we have provided second-party education and training for our Career Painters and their Supervisors about the proper ways to manage lead paint—well over a decade in advance of the EPA scheduled mandate that all painting contractors do so by April 2010, which the agency has again postponed in response to complaints from contractors who have not even begun the process! And why is Lead Paint Certification important to you?
The chipping, scraping, and sanding that necessarily precede the application of new paint will create toxic dust, chips, flakes, and wastewater that must be properly managed and contained not only for your health, but that of our employees.
For example, the work must be done by hand, without power tools, and the area must be properly contained to minimize the levels of dust created and dispersed. Carpeting, furniture and fixtures should be protected with poly protective covering; small items should be removed from the vicinity; warning signs should be posted; and there are specific cleanup procedures—just to name a few.
There is a very good chance that your house contains some lead paint if it were built before 1978. Lead was used as an additive to paints and primers to increase its durability, until its toxic effects were discovered and it was subsequently banned by the federal government.
There is a misconception that the hazards of lead paint are confined to children, and then only if they actually eat the flakes from deteriorating paint. This is a fallacy. Lead paint becomes most dangerous when it begins to deteriorate—and since the newest applications are over 30 years old, much of it already has. Odorless, tasteless, invisible, and highly toxic, lead dust begins to form and disperse into the air undetected.
Thus, the real danger is that you and your entire family are breathing this lead dust and absorbing it through your skin—apart from the commonly perceived scenario of kids eating paint flakes. In both cases, the health dangers are serious and lifelong.
It is easy to see, then, that the removal of lead paint calls for special procedures and precautions in advance of applying modern lead-free paints to the interior or exterior of your home or business, which is why your Madison painting company needs to be a Lead-Safe Certified Firm.