In honor of the 50th Anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, which is March 18th – 24th, we want to emphasize the importance of lead-safe practices when installing replacement windows or doors. If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that it has lead based paint. Just a few granules of lead dust are enough to cause harm to a child.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, paint chips and dust from deteriorating paint can contain dangerous levels of lead. Dust containing lead can be created when painted surfaces rub together, such as when windows, doors or drawers are opened and closed or by walking on stair treads. Check for dust buildup around hinges, window frames and painted drawers. Also be careful of generating dust when hammering, sanding or sawing.
When it comes to replacing windows and doors, the disturbance of lead based paint can create toxic lead dust when painted surfaces are disturbed or demolished. As of April 22, 2010, federal law requires that renovation firms must be certified under EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, individuals must be trained in lead-safe work practices, and training providers must be accredited by EPA.
When looking for a contractor to replace your windows or doors, search for EPA Lead Certified Firm. They have had specific EPA training on how to follow lead-safe work practices. Contractors, who have successfully completed the training, receive an EPA or state certificate. Ask any potential contractor to provide a copy of their certification.
Lead can be a potentially harmful element in your home, especially if it was built before 1978. It is especially harmful to children under the age of 6. It is important to take every precaution to protect yourself and your family from any potential side effects. For more in depth information, please visit the EPA website.
Source of Information: US EPA