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,” here.)
While the materials can be bought à la carte, several companies offer ready-stocked kits. We compare the contents of four:
- Lead Pro Tools kit, $149.99
- RRP Compliance “Certified Renovator Bucket, ” $210.75
- Builders’ Site Protection five-person kit, $299 (single-person kit also available)
- Nikro Industries five-person kit (includes 10-gallon HEPA vac), $820
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 McCadden’s website.)
Click here to download the lead test kit comparison chart.
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.
Disposable shoe covers
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.