DS Environmental provides a full spectrum of lead consulting and testing services:
- Complete Building Inspections
- Lead Sampling (Bulk and XRF)
- Safe Work Specifications
- Abatement Over-site
- Assessment Reporting
- Post Abatement Clearance Sampling
As of April 22, 2010, the EPA has instituted new guidelines and regulations for the renovation and/or remodel of homes built prior to 1978, the year that the manufacturing of lead-based paint was prohibited. If lead is present wtihin paint on building components above Colorado’s action level, any activity impacting these components must be conducted using “lead safe” work practices and RRP (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) Certified contractors. To determine if lead-based paint is present, an inspection must be conducted by a State of Colorado certified lead-based paint inspector.
An inspection must occur if more than six square feet of interior surfaces or twenty square feet of exterior surfaces will be disturbed, or ANY window is being replaced.
Most all contractors, and any window contractor, working in homes built before 1978 containing lead-based paint must be certified to do so and must employ certified workers per the new regulations.
Information on the EPA program and its regulations can be found here.
Lead is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust. Lead and lead components have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around the home, including paint, ceramics, pipes, plumbing materials, gasoline, batteries, and cosmetics. While lead has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals. Humans can become exposed to lead through several mediums, including: drinking water, outdoor air, soil, and dust. One of the most common ways in which people are exposed to lead is through lead-based paint, which is why the federal government banned lead paint from housing in 1978. Lead-based paint becomes a problem if lead-based paint chips or dust is ingested (via eating) or inhaled (via breathing). This causes an increased level of lead in the bloodstream, which has many serious health effects.
When to Test for Lead?
- If surfaces that you suspect have lead-based paint on them have been disturbed or are going to be disturbed
- Before any renovations take place in a structure built before 1978
- Before any demolition work takes place on a structure built before 1978
- If you are buying, selling, or renting a structure built before 1978
In September 2000, Title X Federal legislation (24 CFR Part 35) became effective which revised the 1996 Title X Federal legislation to not only be applicable to “child occupied” facilities but to include all federally funded facilities. This requires that the building owner comply with the new legislation while using any HUD monies on the property or the money will have to be paid back to HUD.
This also requires (among other things) that prospective home purchasers be made aware of the possibility of lead-based paint in houses built prior to 1978. It is merely a disclosure law focusing on target buildings. The seller must disclose whether he or she knows of the presence of lead-based paint. Testing is left up to the potential buyer. According to this law, the presence of any lead-based paint in a building does not require that any remedial action be taken. Current guidelines generally suggest that intact lead paint be left alone unless there are elevated levels of lead in the blood or another critical risk factor.
Health Risks of Lead
Children are particularly at risk of lead poisoning because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They are also more likely to be exposed to lead because children often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths.
Health effects of lead on children include:
- Behavior and learning problems
- Lower IQ and hyperactivity
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
Health effects of lead on adults include:
- Difficulties during pregnancy
- Other reproductive problems (in men and women)
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Nerve disorders
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle and joint pain
Contact DS Environmental!
The only way to be certain if paint or other materials in a structure contain lead is to test for it. To protect families and employees from exposure to lead hazards, and our clients from potential liabilities, DS Environmental provides inspections, testing, and comprehensive risk assessments for facility owners and managers, developers, multi-family housing, schools, day care centers, and potential real estate buyers.
DS Environmental utilizes XRF Spectrum Analyzers (XRFs) to determine the amount of lead in a painted surface. The XRF analyzer provides readings in 2-6 seconds without disturbing or damaging existing surfaces, resulting in time savings and reduced inspection fees.
To assist building owners/managers and contractors with compliance of the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard (29 CFR Part 1926.62), DS Environmental prepares specifications for safe work and abatement practices to be followed by building maintenance workers and/or contractors for demolition, painting, and renovation projects.
During construction and abatement projects, DS Environmental performs containment inspections, worker protection procedures review, personnel monitoring, and performs visual inspections and wipe testing at the completion of the project to verify that abatement areas are safe for re-occupancy.
State and federal regulations hold building owners and employers responsible for protecting employees, occupants, and outside contractors from exposure to lead. DS Environmental helps clients comply with these regulations by conducting site inspections and providing comprehensive assessment reports.
Every aspect of the project is closely managed, including: collection and analysis of samples, containment inspections, pressure differential monitoring, and visual clearance inspections.
Call us at (303) 286-9094 for testing and guidance!