Homeowners and Lead Paint Lead Abatement 
Older Homes and Lead Paint Quick Tips
Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Other Resources for Homeowners

 

Homeowners and Lead Paint  

Lead poisoning is a concern for both children and adults because it can cause serious health problems. Young children who are lead poisoned can have difficulty learning and suffer from behavior and health problems. Adults exposed to too much lead can suffer from high blood pressure, kidney damage, and fertility problems. The good news is that lead poisoning is 100% preventable.

Lead paint in homes is the main cause of lead poisonings. Since lead was not removed from house paint until 1978, homeowners with homes built before 1978 should use lead-safe work practices to protect themselves, their families, pets and neighbors from lead hazards. You can learn about how to be lead safe by reviewing the following information.

Older Homes and Lead Paint

Homes built before 1978 are likely to have lead paint. The older the home the more likely it contains lead paint. To know if your home has lead paint, you can test for it yourself or hire a licensed lead consultant to test. However, unless there has been a child lead poisoned in your home, the CT Department of Public Health does not recommend testing for lead. Instead, DPH recommends that all persons living in a home built before 1978 presume there is lead paint on the interior and exterior of the home and use safe and appropriate work practices during all painting and renovation activities, such as painting, window replacement, exterior siding installation, and remodeling. For information on how to safely work on homes with lead-based paint click here

                         

Renovations, Repair and Painting (RRP)

Anytime paint is disturbed on pre-1978 homes a lead hazard can be created. Work activities, such as scraping, sanding, cutting or drilling into walls, can disturb paint and create lead chips and lead dust. Children often place their hands in their mouths and if there is lead paint chips and lead dust in their homes, the children are likely to become lead poisoned. To address issues of lead hazards in homes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule). The RRP Rule requires companies to be certified if performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in: 
  • homes,
  • child care facilities, and
  • pre-schools built before 1978.

If your home has lead paint and you are planning on hiring a contractor to work on your home, you will need to be sure the contractor is RRP-certified. Click here to find an RRP-certified contractor in your area. 

For more information on what a contractor should do and the importance of hiring the right contractor, read EPA's Renovate Right booklet.

 

Lead Abatement

Lead abatement is an activity designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards. Abatement is sometimes ordered by the federal or local government, and can involve specialized techniques not typically used by most residential contractors.

 

Lead Abatement Rules vs. Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

Abatement

  • Lead abatement projects are designed to permanently eliminate existing lead-based paint hazards. 
  • They may be ordered by the federal or local government in response to a lead-poisoned child or other reason, or may be undertaken voluntarily at any time.
  • Lead risk assessments are designed to identify lead hazards and management strategies, and lead inspections are designed to locate all lead-based paint in a home.
  • Individuals must be trained and certified to conduct lead-based paint activities, and companies must be licensed.   
  • Lead-based activities are regulated differently than renovation, repair and painting (RRP) jobs, even though, in some cases, the activities are similar.
  • Learn more about CT's Lead-Based Paint Activities program.

RRP

  • RRP projects are typically performed at the option of the property owner for aesthetic or other reasons, or as an interim control to minimize lead hazards. It is NOT designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.
  • Since RRP projects can disturb lead-based paint in homes and buildings built before 1978, thus creating new lead hazards, individual renovators must be trained and certified and use lead-safe RRP practices, and firms must be certified.
  • Learn more about CT's RRP certification and training program.

When is lead abatement required in Connecticut?

  1. When a child under the age of 6 living has an elevated blood lead level greater than or equal to 20 micrograms per deciliter
  2. When a residential project is conducted through a HUD grant and the work exceeds $25,000
  3. If a town has a local ordinance  

When abatement is required, all hazardous levels of lead paint must be encapsulated or removed from the interior, exterior and common areas of the dwelling. This includes chewable surfaces (whether or not they are defective), all lead-based movable parts of windows and surfaces that rub against movable part of windows, and hazardous levels of lead in bare soil areas.

While Connecticut law allow homeowners to perform abatement of lead hazards in their homes, DPH recommends that homeowners hire a licensed lead abatement contractor if abatement is necessary. Because lead abatement requires the complete removal of lead paint hazards, the time, cost, and necessary equipment will deter most homeowners. Also, unless ordered to do lead abatement, most work involving lead paint can be done using lead-safe work practices that are employed when hiring RRP-certified firms.

To find a lead professional, click here:

  • scroll down the page and click on Lead Consulting and Abatement Professionals
  • check the box next to type of professional (Lead Abatement Contractor or Lead Consultants) 
  • scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Continue
  • click Download

To verify an individual’s credential, such as a lead abatement supervisor or a lead abatement worker, click here

 Quick Tips on Preventing Lead Hazards

  • Hire an EPA RRP-Certified Firm
  • Never dry scrape or sand paint
  • Use a spray bottle to wet all painted surfaces with water before scraping or sanding using wet-dry sandpaper or sanding sponge
  • Never power wash or using sandblasting to remove paint
  • Use personal protective equipment when working on lead paint
  • Use containment and barriers to prevent lead chips and dust from spreading from work area 

  Resources for Homeowners