HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. – The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) membership will feel the impact of recent industry legislation. As of October 1, 2010, the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) addressing the presence and removal of lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities reached its date of enforcement. The EPA regulation requires the use of a Certified Renovator (CR) and the incorporation of lead safe work practices in most pre-1978 residences and child-occupied properties beginning on or after April 22, 2010 and with an enforcement date of October 1, 2010.

The federal standard defines lead-based paint as any paint or surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or more than 0.5 percent by weight. Lead, which is a bluish-grey metal found in the earth’s crust in small amounts, was added to paint for color and durability. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

The health risks can be severe and irreversible, and it requires only a small amount to be considered hazardous. Eighty-six percent of all homes built before 1940 contain lead-based paint, and sixty-six percent of homes constructed between 1940 and 1959 contain lead-based paint. The presence of this paint becomes an issue when renovation activities disturb it causing dust and debris that can be swallowed or inhaled. 24 million U.S. homes have significant lead-based paint hazards, while 38 million have some amount of lead-based paint.

2010 NKBA President Mark L. Karas, CMKBD, CR stresses the importance of compliance with the regulation and became a Certified Renovator as of March, 2010. "I recommend that all remodeling contractors make time for the 8-hour EPA course and become a Certified Renovator (CR). We must ensure that as professionals, we are fully educated on how to comply and protect our clients. Conscientious remodelers may have already been taking most of the necessary precautions, but it's important we always keep the health, safety and welfare of our clients and employees at the forefront."

Firms and contractors performing work in target housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified and implement lead-safe work practices during renovation, adhering to the following requirements:
* Firm must be certified
* Renovators must be certified through training
* Non-certified workers must work under and be trained by a Certified Renovator
* Training providers must be accredited
* Lead-safe work practices incorporated during renovations
* Pre-renovation education in target housing and child-occupied facilities

Lead abatement professionals must follow work practice standards, which include posting signs defining the work area and containing the work area to prevent visible dust or debris from leaving the area. This is accomplished by an outlined series of interior and exterior containment procedures.

The EPA estimated that 236,000 individuals required the 8-hour certification class, prior to the rule going into effect, and that 47,000 per year will require training thereafter. General renovators, window replacement contractors, and painting contractors represent the largest group of professionals impacted.

As of October 1, the EPA may suspend, revoke, or modify a firm’s certification if the firm is found to be in non-compliance. Non-compliant contractors may be liable for civil penalties of up to $37,500 for each violation. Contractors who knowingly or willfully violate this regulation may face fines up to an additional $37,500 per violation, or imprisonment, or both.

About the National Kitchen & Bath Association

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade association that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 45 years. NKBA.org provides consumers with an inspiration gallery of award-winning kitchen and bath designs, as well as articles, tips, and an extensive glossary of remodeling terms. At NKBA.org, consumers can also find certified kitchen and bath professionals in their areas, submit questions to NKBA experts, and order the free NKBA Kitchen Planer and NKBA Bath Planner

SOURCE: National Kitchen and Bath Assn.

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