Roofing contractors' work often includes gutter, fascia and soffit replacement.
With many older buildings, work of this type often involves removal of wood trim
and gutters that have been painted with lead-based paint. In all likelihood, damaged
or rotted elements will have loose or flaking paint that is easily dislodged when
pried off or dropped to the ground. When lead-based flakes or chips of paint mix
with the soil around a building, lead can leach into the soil and contaminate it.
In addition, children playing in an affected area can ingest lead from the soil
or paint chips and, at surprisingly low levels of exposure, suffer permanent injury
or disability, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) directs EPA to increase public awareness of the lead-exposure hazard that may result from renovation projects. To accomplish this goal, EPA enacted The Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Education Rule in 1994. The rule requires those who engage in renovation work to provide a lead-hazard information pamphlet to owners and occupants of target housing before the start of work. Target housing includes any residential housing built before 1978 except housing built for elderly people or people with disabilities (unless a child younger than six years of age resides in the residence).
The prerenovation lead information pamphlet is entitled "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" and is available from EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission regional offices, the Government Printing Office or may be ordered online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov. You can call the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at (800) 424-LEAD to obtain versions of the pamphlet in English and Spanish.
Information distribution requirements
For a residential dwelling unit (defined as four units or less), a roofing contractor has the following three options for pamphlet distribution to an owner and/or occupant:
Exemptions and record keeping
Renovations that involve 2 square feet or less of painted components and emergency renovations (prompted by an unexpected event and undertaken to avoid an immediate hazard to public safety or health or threat to equipment or property) are exempt from the pamphlet rules. Acknowledgements, certifications and notices relating to the renovation under the lead hazard awareness rules must be retained by the contractor for three years following the date of completion of the renovation project.
The regulations are supported by civil penalties and criminal fines of up to $25,000 per day; however, EPA is focusing on the outreach and compliance assistance with its approach to lead-based paint awareness. Notice of warning, with the expectation that a contractor will comply with the pamphlet rules, is a tactic the agency may pursue. Roofing contractors would be prudent to follow the pamphlet distribution rules to avoid any likelihood of monetary fines. They also can know the information provided in the pamphlet along with their companies' best work practices is furthering the health of the community where they live and work.
Please contact Harry Dietz, NRCA's director of risk management, at (847) 299-9070, Ext. 7502 with any questions regarding the rule.
Basics of EPA's Lead-based Paint Pamphlet Compliance Decision-making Matrix
EPA's Lead-based Paint Pamphlet Distribution Requirements
Delivery must be accomplished no more than 60 days before the start of work. Mailings to a building owner or occupant must be postmarked no less than seven days before work begins.
Delivery requirements for owner-occupied single family residences and four-unit and fewer buildings are as follows: Deliver the pamphlet to the owner of the dwelling and do one of the following: