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Think lead paint doesn’t affect your business? Think again.

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule to protect children from lead exposure mandates that all renovation and repair contractors working in pre-1978 homes, schools, and day care centers who disrupt more than six square feet of lead paint are required to become EPA Certified in lead-safe work practices. Renovation contractors are required to take a one-day training course and firms must send a short application to the EPA. If not, they could face thousands of dollars in fines, and – even worst – be responsible for harming their customers.

Research shows that renovation contractors like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters and window replacement experts can inadvertently expose children to harmful levels of lead from invisible dust disturbed during jobs they perform every day.

Renovation contracting firms must register with the EPA and pay a fee to become an EPA Lead-Safe Certified firm. In addition, individual renovation contractors that will be doing the work or repairs must take a one-day training course from an EPA-accredited training provider to become a certified renovator. EPA certification for both firms and individuals is good for five years. Re-certification will be required beginning in early 2015 for many renovation firms and individual renovators.

“Getting lead-safe certified is the right thing to do for renovation contractors, their customers, and their employees, and especially for children who spend time in or near spaces that are being renovated,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

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