The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) ruling on April 22, 2010 that requires all building contractors and landlords to obtain certification approval from EPA before they can carry out renovation or repairs on homes, schools or buildings built before 1978.
According to the EPA website, contractors and training providers working in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin must contact the state to find out more about its training and certification requirements. These states are authorized to administer their own RRP programs in lieu of the federal program.
The RRP rule was implemented to ensure lead-safe practices are employed by contractors and landlords when they carry out renovation, repair or painting work in pre-1978 properties. Through safe work practices, the ruling ensure that adults and children are protected from the hazard of lead-based paint which was used on houses or buildings built before 1978. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause harmful effects on the brain, kidney and nervous system. For children, it is particularly harmful in causing learning and behavioral problems. Unborn babies are also extremely vulnerable when mothers are exposed to lead prior to giving birth. Adults and children are at danger to lead poisoning when they are exposed to disturbed lead paint surfaces, contaminated dusts in a lead-based painted area or lead from one's clothes, car and shoes.
The RRP rule affect contractors specializing in home or building renovation, plumbers, electricians and painters who may carry out work on homes, schools, child care centers or buildings built before 1978. The ruling also affects landlords of pre-1978 homes or buildings who intend to renovate and repair their properties.
Under the ruling, homeowners or tenants who reside in pre-1978 homes or buildings have the right to request for an EPA-approved certification from any contractor appointed to perform renovation, repair or painting at their premises.