Throughout much of the 20th century, lead was a common ingredient in all kinds of products, but the best-known and most dangerous of them was paint. Lead paint has now been shown to be harmful to both people and the environment, so the environmental protection agency (EPA) has established standards for the resulting hazards. Arguably the most important of them is known as the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Repainting Rule (RRP).
What Is the RRP Rule?
The RRP rule created a set of requirements for any person or firm that performs repairs, renovations, or repainting projects on homes, pre-schools, and child care facilities that were constructed before 1978. Where before, anyone could work on older buildings that were likely to have lead paint, it’s now necessary to get your EPA Lead Paint Certification before doing so.
Training and Certification Requirements
The EPA’s RRP rule requires all contractors, property managers, and others who could be tasked with working on older homes or facilities designed for the care of children to complete an approved training program. The EPA itself doesn’t offer courses. Instead, the agency has established a federal program that allows technicians to receive the training they need from accredited private training groups.
Relevant parties must complete training seminars either every five years if the training occurs in person or every three years if contractors opt to complete online refresher courses for recertification. During these training seminars, contractors will be educated on proper renovation techniques for older homes and other buildings and what precautions to take if they find lead-based paint.
Why the RRP Rule Is Important
As most people now realize, lead is poisonous. Lead poisoning can be especially damaging to children under the age of six, who can develop mental and physical issues as a result of prolonged exposure. At high enough concentrations, lead poisoning can even be fatal.
Lead-based paint and contaminated dust, air, water, and soil on affected properties are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Most adults who experience lead poisoning are exposed as a result of working in these buildings. The RRP rule helps to prevent the unnecessary negative health impacts of lead poisoning on both children and adults.
Potential Consequences for Failure to Comply
Contractors who fail to comply with the RRP rule by keeping up with their certifications won’t just be exposing themselves to lead. Uncertified contractors could also face hefty fines and reputational damage. Today’s homeowners and child care business owners understand the importance of preventing lead exposure, especially when children are involved. Whether contractors are working on their own or running teams of other industry professionals, they should make a point of keeping up with recertification requirements.
The RRP rule is designed to cover any kind of contracting activity that has the potential to disturb lead paint, which means it applies to anyone working on a home or child-occupied facility built before 1978. More specifically, it covers:
Contractors who perform these services exclusively on zero-bedroom dwellings, elderly housing, or areas that are six square feet or smaller in an otherwise covered building are exempted from the certification requirements.
Not sure whether circumstances will arise that will require RRP rule certification? It’s always worth taking the time to seek certification just in case.