Recent data indicates that there are 4.7 million homes in California built before 1978 and 52 percent of them may have lead. Lead was used in paints and stains. Before you remodel your home, it is important to know the laws about the removal and disposal of lead. Don't ever assume that big box stores or independent contractors know or follow the law.
Lowe's agreed to a $500,000 settlement for not insuring that their contractors and installers use lead safe practices when remodeling homes. This came after Lowe's had to pay $18.1 million on April 1, 2014 to settle a hazardous waste handling case in California.
Independent contractors are fined as well. Rothers, Inc. d/b/a Rothers Design/Build agreed to settle a case with the EPA involving a residential renovation project conducted on a property that was constructed prior to 1978 for mishandling lead.
To keep you and your family safe during home remodeling, here are a list of procedures to follow if your home was built prior to 1978:
1. Insist that testing by an independent lab is completed prior to demolition and a report is provided to you.
2. If lead or any other hazardous materials are found, make sure an approved remediation contractor handles the work, files the proper documentation and provides you with written copies.
3. Require that your contractor state in writing that hazardous materials will be disposed of at the proper landfill or dump sight.
For more information about hazardous materials, visit the EPA Website.