1. What is Lead Paint Abatement?
Lead paint abatement is the process of safely reducing lead paint hazards. Lead paint abatement can be very dangerous if done improperly. It’s best to hire professional contractors to remove lead paint from your home.
If abatement work is done improperly, a greater lead hazard may be created. Before beginning any work, contact your local health department for guidelines and state and local regulations regarding lead paint abatement in Connecticut and in your city or town.You may also request a listing of Connecticut-certified lead abatement contractors. If at all possible, hire a certified professional to do the work. Check their qualifications and request references.
A Starting Point
Use this fact sheet as a starting point to learn the basics about abatement, especially if you are considering doing any home remodeling or renovation projects yourself. If hiring a contractor, make sure he/she is taking the necessary precautions to protect your family’s health and safety. This page will provide you with some basic principles about lead paint abatement.
Before Abatement Begins: Safety First
• Have all family members, especially children, tested for lead poisoning.
• Have your home inspected for lead poisoning by a professional contractor. Your local health department can help you find this information.
• Relocate children and pregnant women that may be poisoned until after the work is completed.
• Be sure to post warning signs at all entrances to the work area.
• Seal off all doors, windows, ducts, etc., with 6-mil plastic sheeting.
• Remove all furniture, carpets, drapes, etc.
• Cover everything that remains with plastic drop cloths. Do not use newspaper or fabric drop cloths.
• Limit access to the work area. No one must enter without proper protective equipment.
• If any part of a surface (window sill, door jamb), contains lead paint, the entire surface must be abated. This is especially true for chipping and flaking paint.
• Select the abatement method that will create the least amount of dust.
• Use adequate barriers to prevent lead dust from entering the rest of the environment. Do not use paper wall coverings, contact paper, or fresh paint as these are not durable barriers.
• DO NOT dry scrape; sand with a power grinder or electric plane; burn with a torch or a heat gun; sandblast; or use chemical removers that contain methylene chloride.
Lead Abatement Methods
The options for lead abatement methods include:
1) Enclosure: This can be the easiest of all methods. The lead paint is covered with a wall covering. This is typically done for large surfaces such as walls.
2) Replacement: This method involves completely removing the door, window or molding that is covered in lead paint and replacing it with a new one.
3) Paint Removal: This method involves completely removing lead paint. This will create lead dust and should be performed by a certified professional.
4) Encapsulation: This method not only covers but seals the affected area with a specific coating. This is less expensive but cannot be used on all surfaces.
Be Sure to avoid:
• Scraping dry paint
• Sanding the painted surface
• Using a heat gun or burning the surface with a torch
• Sandblasting the surface
• Chemically removing the paint
Lead Abatement Notification
Prior to beginning work a lead abatement service firm should notify EPA of the work being planned.
The notification notice should include:
• Type of Notification - either original or updated
• Expected start date of lead abatement activities
• Expected completion date of lead abatement activities
• Name, address, contact numbers and certification of the firm performing abatement
• Property name or project description
• Type of structure were lead abatement will be carried out
• Location of the project including units being worked on and their respective id number
• Copy or documentation showing lead abatement emergency order (if applicable)
• Name and EPA certification number of the project supervisor
• Total square feet to be abated
• Description of the lead abatement activities that will be performed
• Signature of the representative of the certified firm
Lead Abatement Activities
Lead abatement activities are ruled and closely monitored by the EPA. A certified firm must notify EPA at least five business days prior to starting lead abatement activities. In some instances, if the work to be done is part of an emergency abatement due to the discovery of high blood lead levels in occupants, notification should be done no later than the day work begins.
During the Abatement Process:
What to Wear During Abatement
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- disposable gloves
- HEPA respirator
- shoe covers or booties
- disposable coveralls
• All workers must use masks or respirators that are approved by the federal government for lead paint abatement (HEPA mask).
• Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, or chew tobacco in the work area.
• Wash face and hands, and change clothing every time the work area is exited and before eating.
• Always wash work clothing separately from family laundry.
Before Entering the Work Area
• Select the proper PPE for the hazards that are likelyto be present. Put on protective clothing in a cleanarea.
• Make sure PPE fits properly and is in good working condition.
• Store street clothes in a clean area.
When Leaving the Work Area
• Remove loose dust from clothing using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.
• Roll off PPE to minimize dust.
• Place disposable clothing with abatement waste, and place washable clothing in a clearly marked laundry container.
• Clean respirators with soap and water. Dry them thoroughly and store them in a plastic bag.
• Wash hands and face thoroughly.
Clean up after abatement is essential to avoid lead evels increasing.
Use the following materials:
• household detergent
• HEPA vacuum cleaner
• 6-mil plastic bags or sheet plastic and duct tape.
• Disposable clothes, sponges, and mops (or mop heads).
The Clean-up Process is Never Completed
Keep lead dust from building up. Cleaning the area every day will help keep lead levels low. Workers should clean all surfaces from the top down, so lead particles aren’t rinsed into clean areas. Keep lead out of other areas.
When Abatement is Completed: Lead Waste Must be Disposed of Properly
Lead waste may include the following:
• paint chips
• woodwork that was removed
• plastic bags, sheeting, and duct tape
• used cleaning supplies
• disposable work clothes, masks, and respirator filters
• waste water
General rules for disposal:
• Use only waste containers that are labeled "Danger — Lead Hazard."
• Dispose of liquid waste in non-corrosive containers. Never pour liquid waste down toilets, drains, or storm sewers.
• Use only landfills that have a permit to accept special waste.
• Keep waste covered while transporting it to the disposal site.
• Do not burn lead waste, it can contaminate the air with dangerous amounts of lead.
1) Wrap trash in double plastic bags and seal them shut with duct tape.
2) Vacuum all surfaces with a HEPA vacuum.
3) Wet all surfaces with water and household detergent.
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 after the surfaces dry.
5) Dispose of used plastic properly.
Workers can clean the area one final time. The local health department or a qualified testing company tests the area for the presence of any more lead.