(10/25/19) BATON ROUGE, La. — Home repairs and renovations that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 can produce a dangerous health hazard if lead-safe work practices are not followed. In general, the older the home, the greater the lead hazard risk, according to LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel.
That’s why all contractors who work on pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities are required by the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule to be certified and to use lead-safe work practices.
As part of its healthy homes educational outreach, the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Resource Center in Baton Rouge will hold its next Lead-Safe Certified Renovator (RRP) Training class on Nov. 5.
“This is such a crucial program,” Reichel said. “Even very low levels of lead in young children can damage their developing brains and other organs. It can lead to learning and behavior disorders, impaired hearing and other health effects without any symptoms of poisoning.
“That can happen from breathing a tiny amount of lead dust in the air or ingesting lead dust on hands.” she added. “Damage is irreversible, so that’s why all young children should be screened and why it’s so important for homeowners to hire only lead-safe certified firms to work on their pre-1978 homes.”
Lead-safe renovator certification of an individual is good for five years. Likewise, a firm must have at least one certified renovator to become a certified firm and listed on the EPA website. Non-compliance with RRP puts a contractor at risk of substantial EPA penalties and liability in the event of lead poisoning.
“Of course, the most important reason to use lead-safe work practices is to protect children and workers from the serious health hazards of lead,” Reichel said.
Upon completion of the one-day class, attendees may take the RRP certification exam on the same day. LaHouse Resource Center is an approved trainer through EnviroEd, a nationwide EPA-accredited RRP training provider.The class also qualifies for CEUs for Louisiana Residential Contractors.
Course registration includes the course book, hands-on activities and exam. Participants who pass the exam will receive official EPA certificates from EnviroEd. Registration, course fees and further information about the class, the RRP rule and additional requirements for firms to be certified are available at www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouse.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture