New lead paint rule now in place


Story Updated: Apr 29, 2010

Paducah, KY - There is new important information for anyone looking to remodel their house. A new federal law that went into effect Thursday is designed to protect your family and your home but it's getting mixed reviews.

The law requires anyone renovating an older home to hire a contractor certified to handle lead-based paint. The rule affects all homes built before 1978 when lead was banned in paint.

The move will impact contractors, painters and anyone who is involved in home renovation.

Flipping eyesores into show homes isn't easy but Dale Brewer, Brewer Electric of Paducah, thrives on it.

"If you love the piece of property and want to live in this neighborhood you'll want to do that," Brewer said.

However, Brewer sees the new regulation as possibly causing problems. For example, many of the homes involved in the Fountain Avenue Project in Paducah are old enough to possibly contain lead-based paint.

"I would say a lot of them do have lead paint in them and will need to be abated," Brewer said.

Veteran contractor Chris Black, Ray Black & Son, Inc., is bracing for the new changes too. He agrees this is just one more loop he'll need to jump through to ensure a safe property for future homeowners.

"We're going to seriously absorb the new regulation and apply it to our work as we move forward," Black said.

But as contractors like Black move forward, others are concerned the new law might stop buyers from looking at homes built before 1978.

Dale Brewer isn't so sure saying, "I really don't. It's one of those things that's going to cause a concern and a little bit of a problem and add some expense to lets say a remodel job."

An expense passed onto the consumer, along with peace of mind knowing their new home is lead free.  Contractors we spoke with are either trained, or will hire companies certified, to remove the lead-based paint.  Many home renovation experts, including the one involved with the Fountain Avenue Project, are now trained to do the testing and remove the toxic paint if needed.

The new rule focuses on eliminating toxic paint from homes and businesses with pregnant women or children under the age of six living at the location for 60 days or more within the year.

Again, contractors who deal with lead based paint are required to get certified and take extra precautions. For example, they'll have to contain dust from the paint to keep it from spreading. Contractors will also have to pay for additional protective gear and equipment.

Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death.