Doing some Exterior Painting or Remodeling? Then Here is What You Need to Know! Lead based paint is a serious hazard for young children.
Although homes, furniture, toys, and many other items can no longer be painted with lead based paints, many children may still be exposed to lead based paint. This paint is not an immediate hazard unless it is in poor condition that includes cracking, chipping, peeling, or chalking. In this condition, lead based paints are a serious health hazard when even very small amounts of paint chips or dust are accidentally eaten. Children exposed to lead may develop behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity, and physical problems, such as anemia and slow mental or physical development.
Acceptable Paint Removal Methods
It is recommended that lead-based paint be removed by wet scraping. An alternative method is to remove the paint with chemical strippers. However, this method presents other environmental and personal health hazards that must be considered. Inappropriate methods of lead based paint removal are power sanding, grinding, and open flame burning unless proper engineering controls are used. HEPA (high efficiency particle accumulator) vacuum attachments for power sanders qualify as appropriate engineering controls; however, these attachments are relatively expensive and difficult to use on buildings over one story. Appropriate engineering controls for power grinding and open flame burning include enclosing the work area with plastic.
Paint Chips and Dust Containment
Close all of the doors, windows, and vents to the building. Openings must also be sealed if closing them is not sufficient to prevent paint or dust from entering the building. Soil, vegetation, and other areas adjacent to the work area must be covered with a drop cloth that is attached to the base of the building, extends the length of the work area, and is deep enough to collect all of the paint chips and dust resulting from paint removal. At the end of each day during the project, the work site must be cleaned up and the waste double bagged and sealed in 4 mil plastic bags.
Disposal of Lead based Paint Waste
Waste from private homes may be placed in with general trash according to trash collection rules. Wastes removed from commercial property must be disposed of according to Wisconsin DNR guidelines for hazardous waste disposal.
Neighbors and passersby should be notified of the possible lead hazard by posting at least 2 warning signs (8 1/2 by 11 inches) next to the work area. Please refer to example below.
CAUTION Paint Removal Work Area Danger to Children and Pregnant Women
Lead based paint is not only a hazard for children. Persons removing or disturbing lead based paint need to protect themselves as well as others and the environment.
Both contractors and those renovating their own property should:
- Wear a dust mask designed for lead
- Don't eat or drink on the job site
- Don't take your work home with you.
- Set up an area where workers can cleanup and change clothes as they leave the work site
For more information on lead paint hazards and hazard control measures, contact the following sources:
|Columbia County Division of Health
|Wisconsin Division of Health