The Environmental Protection Agency suggests 29 items you should have if you’re working on a lead-safe project — for set up, minimizing dust, worker protection, and clean work area maintenance. (For specifics see page 35 in “Steps to Renovation, Repair, and Painting,”
While the materials can be bought à la carte, several companies offer ready-stocked kits. We compare the contents of four:
Kits are a convenient, easy way to get familiar with different products. But, ultimately, you need to decide which products you specifically require. Exercise due diligence. As Shawn McCadden, REMODELING columnist and a leading expert on the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule and a National Center for Healthy Housing Accredited EPA
RRP instructor, says, many of the EPA-accepted items are not accepted by OSHA. (See more RRP info on the RRPedia page of
Coveralls: Should be breathable and disposable so you don’t take particulates to another job. Tyvek, Lakeland Micromax, and Kimberly Clark Kleenguard offer heavy-duty impermeable fabric coveralls. The RRP training manual says coveralls can be reused if vacuum cleaned and stored in a plastic bag overnight; OSHA doesn’t allow this practice.
Caution tape comes in various thicknesses and lengths, which affects cost.
Filters: (purple in this example) are sold separately. While a respirator headset is reusable (after it’s been wiped down), if you’re following the rules to the letter you’d have to remove and dispose of the filters after each job.
Lead-check swabs: These swabs are referred to as “lead test kits” by the EPA, which recognizes, but doesn’t approve, these three: Hybrivet System LeadCheck test kit (swabs); D-Lead Paint Test Kit (system with several components); State of Massachusetts lead test kit (only for use by licensed lead testing professionals in that state.)
Lead dust wipes
Caution signs: Signs are either paper or plastic. Either one is acceptable, but the EPA rule says signage should be in the language of the occupants.
Gloves: Because of latex allergies, many people choose nitrile gloves, which are latex-free and just as sturdy.
HEPA Vac: This is the main tool you’ll need for RRP. Only a handful meet the EPA’s requirements. Using a Shop Vac with a HEPA filter insert is not compliant. Select a HEPA vac based on number of jobs and their size. A good choice for remodelers is the Mastercraft CT-5 HEPA Vac, mastercraftusa.com.
Mask/Respirator: (The terms are used interchangeably.) The N-100 respirator — the standard required by the EPA — is disposable and looks like a surgeon’s mask. Reusable respirators (either full-face or half-mask) are also referred to as masks. They need filters; P100 designates the standard replacement filter. Note: OSHA ?requirements dictate which respirators to wear, and these may differ from those recommended by the EPA.