The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is looking for remodelers to participate in a research project being conducted to study levels of exposure to lead-based paint during renovation and remodeling activities. The study comes in response to a pending Environmental Protection Agency ruling that could require stricter regulation of lead-safe work practices in residential housing built as recently as 1978 (approximately 68% of existing housing).

Use of lead-based paint (LBP) was gradually phased out from 1960 to 1978, when it was finally outlawed for sale. The study aims to show that the most stringent LBP regulations should be placed on housing constructed before 1960.

The study needs participants to provide access to structures which are unoccupied and pre-tested (at the NAHB's expense) for the presence of lead, and were built prior to 1978. The sites must be available for testing between January and March 2006. Lead exposures will be measured during a variety of remodeling activities, including window replacement, and cabinet, bathtub, and wall removal.

The EPA has previously estimated that the cost of lead-safe work practices to the industry — in the form of training courses for crews and modification of common work practices — could reach between $2 billion and $4 billion annually, a cost that would in turn be passed on to consumers. Since regulations would apply only to licensed remodelers, the NAHB fears that the consequently higher price tag would cause some consumers to turn instead to unlicensed businesses or resort to a do-it-yourself approach.

To participate, or for more information, contact Therese Crahan at the NAHB: 800.369.5242, ext. 8211, or