On Thursday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will put into force its long-overdue lead-safe workpractices rule, called the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. Yay!
This rule will go a long long way towards protecting homeowners, their families, and renovators from harmful exposure to lead-contaminated paint. (Lead was banned from house paint in 1978, so new homes are not at risk).
USA Today reported in 2007 on kids getting severely poisoned from lead paint during home renovations. That report notes that in 1992, 19 years ago, Congress required EPA to write this rule to protect children, and wanted it finalized it by 1996. Instead it took another decade, until 2006, for EPA to propose the regulation. And, another four years, until today, to finalize it!
The LRRP Rule is a federal law requiring that by April 22, 2010, renovation firms must be certified in lead-safe work practices and individuals must have completed a one-day training course in lead-safe work practices; certification is valid for five years.
EPA finalized its LRRP rule in 2008 because of continued widespread childhood poisoning from old leaded paint during renovations and home repairs, but gave renovators another two years to get certified and in compliance.
More info here on lead paint poisoning.