Logo for EPA's new "Look for the Logo" campaign

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recommended tightening dust-lead hazard standards for floors and window sills. The recommendations would tighten floor standards to 10 from 40 micrograms per square foot and window sill standards to 100 from 250 micrograms per square foot.

The proposal, published in the Federal Register, means that remodelers who do renovations in homes built before 1978 could be even more likely to have to follow the safety practices mandated by the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule.

Today's filing responds to a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals mandate that EPA review the dust-lead hazard standard as well as reexamine the definition of lead-based paint. The EPA declined to revise the definition of lead-based paint, saying it lacked enough information to support a change.

RRP requires that when remodelers are working in houses built before 1978 on projects that could disturb lead paint, they must determine whether any lead paint is present and--if they do find presence of the paint or didn't do a test--must then use certain practices to contain the spread of the lead paint dust while they perform the remodel. The company doing the work and the renovators following lead-safe work practices both must be certified by EPA-approved training programs.

In addition to its proposal on dust-lead hazard standards, the EPA is also expected to update its interagency strategy document on reducing childhood exposure to lead. The Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC) led efforts in the spring calling for the EPA to strengthen its Lead-Based Paint Hazard Standard.

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