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Practical Answers to Key Questions about the RRP Rule


Q: What is the purpose of the Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP) Rule?

A: The purpose of the RRP Rule is to minimize exposure from lead-based paint dust during renovation, repair, or painting activities. This is a key effort in reducing the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning, particularly lead poisoning caused by housing contaminated by renovation activities. This will also minimize exposure to older children and adults who are also adversely impacted by lead-based paint dust exposure. Lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes prior to its ban for residential use in 1978. This paint can form toxic dust when it is disturbed during normal home repair work. The EPA RRP program is designed to reduce lead contamination by training contractors in relatively simple lead-safe work practices. The EPA also encourages consumers to choose firms that are certified. Since lead poisoning can cause a wide range of physical, intellectual, emotional, and behavioral issues with societal and financial impacts, the RRP program is prevention-based, cost-effective, and a long-term bargain.


Q: Who must comply with the RRP Rule?

A: The RRP rule applies to any company and any person who receives compensation for work which might disturb painted surfaces in pre-1978 housing, schools, or child-occupied facilities (such as day-care centers). This includes firms, sole proprietorships, and individuals such as:


Q: Is it a violation of the RRP Rule for a homeowner to hire a firm that is not certified?

A: The RRP Rule does not impose requirements on homeowners unless they are performing renovations on rental space. However, the hired firm would be in violation of the RRP Rule if it was uncertified and performing a covered renovation. Without certification and by not following approved practices, firms found to be in violation of the RRP rule may be subject to civil penalties of up to $37,500 per offense per day.


Q: What does the RRP Rule require?

A:


Q: What about RRP certification renewal?

A: Individuals and firms must regularly renew their RRP certifications to maintain compliance with the RRP Rule.


Q: Where does the RRP Rule apply?

A: The RRP rule applies to target housing and child-occupied facilities.


Q: I thought lead-based paint had been phased out. How many homes still contain lead-based paint?

A: HUD’s National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing estimated that 38 million permanently occupied housing units (40% of all housing units) in the United States contain some lead-based paint that was applied before the residential use of lead-based paint was banned in 1978. Housing units include single-family homes, manufactured housing, and multi-unit dwellings like apartments. Vacant housing, group quarters (such as prisons, hospitals, and dormitories), hotels, motels, and other short-term housing, military bases, and housing where children are not permitted to live (such as housing designated exclusively for the elderly and zero-bedroom units) are not included in this number. More information on these statistics is available from HUD.


Q: What is lead and where is it found?

A: Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from motor vehicles and industrial sources and may enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint. Soil around a home may contain lead from sources like deteriorated exterior paint, past use of leaded gas in cars, or from past renovation activities. Household dust can pick up lead from deteriorating lead-based paint, from past renovation projects, or from soil tracked into a home. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes, therefore, it is important to shower and change clothes before going home and launder your work clothes separately.


Q: What is the most significant source of childhood lead exposure in a residence?

A: The scientific literature suggests that, nationally, lead-contaminated paint dust is the most significant source of childhood lead exposure. Lead dust comes from deteriorating lead-based paint and lead-contaminated soil that gets tracked into your home. This dust may accumulate to unsafe levels. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can also create hazardous lead dust. People, especially children, can swallow lead dust as they eat, play, and do other normal hand-to-mouth activities.


Q: What are some of the health effects of lead?

A: Lead is known to cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children under 6-years-old are most at risk from exposure to lead-based paint and, because their bodies are still growing, children tend to absorb more lead than adults.

Ready to become a lead-safe Certified Renovator? CLICK HERE to enroll in a Certified Renovator–Initial RRP Course and receive the training you need to perform lead-safe work practices.