About Lead Contamination

by WOHe

According to the EPA, the effects of lead contamination are known to cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, sexual function, memory capability, digestion, fertility, blood pressure, and among pregnant women, can result in miscarriages, premature births, brain damage and low birth weight. Young children can develop speech, language, behavior and learning problems with exposure to lead. Worse yet, there is a link to lead exposure causing higher rates of juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancies, and dropping out of high school, along with an increase in violent crimes committed by adults who were exposed to lead as children. Lead can be introduced to the body through breathing dust particles, ingesting paint chips, and other ways.

The dangers to renovation workers are great as well. While the EPA requirements are extremely strict, the protection benefits for you and your staff are significant. Since jobsite protection is focused on dust containment, it provides added safety with respect to other types of contamination, and a cleaner work environment during removal, and afterward.

The biggest single expense, besides the overall cost of certification, is the addition of a HEPA vacuum. You can thank the EPA for helping to create a better work environment and possibly a longer, healthier lifespan for you and your employees. Purchasing it could have been well justified before the RRP rule ever came into effect, just for more effective cleaning and producing less dust into the work area. Everyone should have a HEPA filter at least, even on regular vacuums used on non-RRP jobs. The difference is noticeable, and a clean worksite is very high in a customer’s appreciation of a quality job.

Lastly, the protection measures will help to keep worker’s families safer from lead dust formerly brought home in clothing, the work vehicle, and on tools, lunch boxes, etc. A lead-safe job protects beyond the work site, and we all benefit from that.

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