EPA announced new procedures for handling lead-based paints safely in April 2010. The Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety redefined the rules in July 2010. This section presents key provisions:
- Any housing built before 1978 must abide by these regulations.
- Only certified firms can carry out housing renovation.
- A certified Lead-Safe Renovation Supervisor must ensure his presence on the site throughout the working tenure.
- The contractor must have a properly documented lead safety manual to follow.
- The warning signs should be posted in appropriate places.
- The ground must be protected with impermeable materials that should be at least 6 feet beyond the interior surfaces being renovated
- The ground must be protected with impermeable materials that should be at least 6 feet beyond the exterior surfaces being renovated
- The impermeable ground covers (plastic sheets) can only be re-used for outdoor works and not indoor works.
- Close all doors and windows in the interior work area, and those within 20 feet of the exterior work area.
- The paint removal machinery must be fitted with HEPA exhaust control.
- Dust and debris should be disposed of in an anti-release way.
- The ground covers, at the time of removal, must be cleaned properly.
- The work area must be properly cleaned with mops, damp clothes, and a HEPA vacuum.
The lead-safe practices are not applicable for projects involving only minor repair and maintenance i.e. 6 sq. feet or less of paint per room for interior surfaces, and 20 sq. feet or less for exterior surfaces on the whole building. The cases where testing confirms that applicable building components are free of paint and other surface coating containing lead, are also exempted.
The Division of Occupational Safety is available to answer the contractors’ queries about lead regulations, via hotline 617-969-7177, during business hours.