Volume 45, Issue 7 - July 2010


Dust Thou Art

You might think itís a bit of overkill, but in my spare time I love to Ö read Ö magazines. So it was with robust gusto that I actually used two hours this weekend to catch up on reading from the major stack of consumer magazines (as opposed to this one which is a business-to-business [B2B] magazine) sitting next to my chair in the den. I also have a major stack on the porch outside, another next to my bed and even one in my car trunk.

My mailman once told me that I get more magazines than any other person to whom he has delivered mail in his 30 odd years of service, which is why I was looking at Thanksgiving turkey recipes in?Country Living on the day the outdoor temp hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit. I didnít miss much; none were too memorable.

What was memorable was the small item I?saw in the late-fall issue of This Old House magazine. It mentioned the upcoming Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP)?program and dutifully reported that the EPA?estimated that the RRP would add approximately ď$100 per jobĒ to the cost of doing work. Sure Iíd read that wrong, I went back and, by golly, thatís exactly what it saidó$100 per job, not even per window, though the article did allow that many contractors were saying it would cost a lot more. In fact, today, the number most commonly mentioned is $150 a window, quite a difference from the $100 a job the EPA?originally estimated.

Now, if by now you are silently screaming, ďNo, not another lead paint article, I canít take it any more and it doesnít apply to me anyway,Ē then I ask you to consider the following:

1. The law may apply to your company. It applies to any job in residences built before 1978, handled by a professional renovator, in which paint is disturbed. So if you are doing hack-outs on pre-1978 buildings and you are not disturbing more than six square feet on an interior job and not more than 20 square feet on an exterior job, then the regulations do not apply. But otherwise they do, and the fines are steep.

2. EPA?wants to expand the program. Just this first week of July, the EPA provided notice that it plans to create a similar program for renovators of commercial buildings.

3. We ainít seen nothing yet. Our sources tell us that the ultimate goal of the regulations will be to require independent inspectors to come in and verify that the work was done correctly and that no lead dust is in the area. I canít imagine the cost of setting up mini-hazardous locations on commercial retrofit sites.

Is it any wonder that at least one fenestration association has filed a lawsuit against EPA?for rescinding its ďopt-outĒ exception for homes in which children under six or pregnant women are not present?

Exposure to lead paint is an insidious problem and great public health concern.?One expert to whom?I recently spoke related the increased incidence of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? and use of drugs such as Ritalin as a move to counter the effects of lead paint exposure. Itís serious.

But however well-intentioned, the new program has a number of holes that need to be plugged in order to be effective. But donít ignore them, they are not going away.?

P.S. We have tons of info available on the regulations; if you need it, just drop me a line at deb@glass.com.



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