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CEDIA Lead-Based Paint Education & Certification

by Jonathon Peters June 16, 2010
CEDIA Lead-based Paint Certification

CEDIA Lead-based Paint Certification

The Custom Electrons Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) is offering, in cooperation with National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), a simple way for individuals to become educated and certified in dealing with lead paint issues according to the EPA and HUD guidelines and rules.  Since lead-safe certification became required as of April 22, 2010, there is a new urgency to have companies become compliant.

To fully understand the program and the problems, I decided to take the class. For sometime now I had noticed the handouts and brochures on the paint counters at all of the local home improvement centers and also at my paint suppliers. I had quite a few questions, and the CEDIA class would provide the answers.

First off, this is a big deal and the federal government is serious about how lead paint gets handled. With the Lead-Based Paint, Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, pretty much anyone that disturbs painted surfaces that might contain lead must follow certain prescribed procedures, classes, certifications and safety measures to contain the work area, minimize dust and completely clean up when they are finished. This rule applies to any and all contractors. This means that if you work in electrical field,  mechanical, renovations, plumbing, painting, maintenance and, yes, even custom electronics installation; you probably will come into a situation where you will need to be certified. Also, if you ever have to replace windows and interior or exterior doors, then you also have to be certified. The rule says that if you disturb more then six square feet of lead paint on the interior or twenty square feet on the exterior of a building that was built before 1978 and the building is a home, school, day care center or anywhere children under the age of six spend time, or if there are pregnant women present, then you need to take notice and comply with the rule. There are no longer any exemptions possible.

Lead paint

Just to make sure they have your attention, the government is posing some pretty hefty fines to the tune of a maximum of $37,500 per violation, per day. This does not include any of the local or state fines that may be more less depending on how the program is implemented in your specific area. So, if it is not the fear of fines that gets your attention, then it might be the possibility of lawsuits or other risks that you might have if you do not follow proper procedures when working with lead-based paint.

OK, so now that I have your attention, this is where CEDIA has stepped up to the plate to make sure that industry professionals like us are properly prepared to be compliant with the EPA and HUD rules. To make the process as easy and pain free as possible, they offer a Certified Renovator class in two parts. The first portion is done online at your own pace and the second portion is a half-day long hands-on class with a written exam that must be passed in the end so that you can become a Certified Renovator.

It was interesting to note that even once you become a Certified Lead Renovator, your company still cannot legally do lead related work until they become a Certified Firm. To become a Certified Firm, a company must employ a Certified Renovator and they must submit an application to the EPA along with a fee. Once the firm is certified, then the company can safely and legally do the work.

So back to the classes. The Online portion took approximately 4 to 5 hours to compete. The classes are divided up into easy to digest chapters that cover all the major aspects of the law, the EPA rules, HUD rules and all the other background and procedural things you would need to know. You will become an expert on all the acronyms we keep using here too. At the end of each section, there are quick quizzes that you must pass before you are allowed to move on. There is a barrage of information that is covered so I would say to make sure to take your time and feel free to break up the online class into a few different sessions like I did. The LEAD education portion of the CEDIA website was easy to navigate and easy to jump right back into where I left off on my last session. At the successful completion of the online portion, a certificate is issued that states that Part One was completed which makes you then eligible for Part Two.

Part Two: Hands-On

lead paint renovationThis was the fun day; I had to get up at 3am so I could drive 4 hours to my nearest learning center for the hands-on class that was to last from 8AM to 12PM. Upon arriving at the learning center we all sat down for some helpful presentations and some great question and answer time with the instructors that were there. The hands-on class really just reinforced all the critical aspects of the on-line class to make sure that it was drilled into our heads what we are supposed to do once we became Certified Renovators. There was a lot of discussion on the health problems associated with disturbing LBP (Lead-Based Paint) and how it really affects young children with often life-long problems, hence the rules that have to do with schools and day-care facilities. A portion of the hands-on class was devoted to testing methods to detect if lead is present the paint.   Also there was discussions on how to properly set up a work site, how to contain the work area and how to minimize dust. Since I am in the renovation business, some of the topics in this area were pretty much best practice for us much in the same way we try to minimize the spread and inhalation of demolition and  drywall dust when we are working on a project. The biggest things to take from this is to minimize dust and to use a HEPA dust collection system as much as possible when using power tools. There was also the clean up procedures that are designed to minimize contamination to other parts of the building and other people that might be nearby.

In as much as there are precautions to protect the inhabitants of the building, there were also discussions on protecting and training workers so that they understand the implications and proper safety procedures on the job site. It was actually a fun part of the hands-on class was when we broke down into teams and had to set up a proper work space, with proper containment methods that included protecting furniture, existing surfaces and openings. Each step of the way was supervised by an instructor to ensure that we did things according to the rules. To help make it a little easier, there were handy check lists and books that they handed out too. To be honest, some parts of the procedures were a little overwhelming and it made it nice to be able to glance at the checklist to make sure we were doing all the right things in the right order. When we were all done with the practical part of the class, they handed out the test that was made up of multiple choice questions. In order to pass the program, you had to score an 80% or better on the test. For all you worried test takers out there, we did not have a single person fail in the group of 14 that I took the class with. So given that statistic, I think most folks pass without too much trouble.

So now that I passed, I received my Certified Renovators certificate that says I am able to safety and effectively renovate when there is LBP present. The key to remember at this point, is that this is not the last step if you plan to do this type of renovation work. You must make sure that your company also submits an application and pays the fee to the EPA (and also to your state or local jurisdictions if required) to become a Certified Firm before you begin any work. More information about becoming a Certified Firm can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/sbcomplianceguide.pdf

For more information on what CEDIA has to offer, please visit http://www.cedia.net/lead/.

About CEDIA
CEDIA is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. The association was founded in September 1989 and has more than 3,500 member companies worldwide. CEDIA Members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this specialized field. For more information, visit the association's website at www.cedia.org.

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Recent Forum Posts:

InTheIndustry posts on February 21, 2011 17:08
markknick, post: 762391
Hey! I teach these guys, and it's usually yada-yada-yada over the fines and the second and third party lawsuits. But it isn't till these guys realize that for years they have been contaminating their children and wives by accidentally taking the lead home on their work clothes that they realize the importance of safe work practices. I've had students come back and thank me after having their children tested for lead in their blood and have them come up hot. Sad but true.

markknick, post: 794403
Lead-safe renovation training and EPA or state certification is the law. * But, there are those that say, “Not for long!” and those that say, “Government regulation is strangling construction”, and still those that say, “The science is not in yet on the dangers of lead poisoning”.* These are the common arguments used against lead-safe training and certification for Renovators of all trades.

There are rumblings that the United States Environmental Protection Agency will be dissolved due to the influence of the Tea Party.* This would occur on the premise that a free, unregulated market will naturally find the right path without government intervention.* To those that are avoiding the required Renovation, Repair, and Painting training for this reason, this is the very moment for which you argue.* 310,000 American children become lead poisoned each year.* Many due to microscopic lead paint dust left in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities by renovations. *

How do we know this?* A 1992 law, passed by congress and signed by George Herbert Walker Bush requires Doctors to report lead poisoning to local health departments.* These health departments are charged with determining what causes the lead poisoning.* Our health departments remove the poisoned children from their homes for a few weeks and test their blood for lead again.* If the blood-lead level goes down, the house is the problem.* If not, they take them out of school, and so on.* Using this method of removing poisoned children from situations and testing has proven to be very accurate.* This is how Chinese toys were found to contain lead.* Today, more than not, poisoned children come from older homes that have recently been renovated.* The science is in!

The United States of America is the only country on earth with this magnitude of childhood lead poisoning.* Why?* We painted using leaded paint 50 years longer than almost all other countries on Earth.* Most of that paint is still in place.* It’s not particularly dangerous having been painted over and over again with non-lead paint.* That is, until we arrive with our reciprocating saws, sledge hammers, drills, etc.* An amount of lead as small as the contents of one single sugar packet spread over a large area can seriously damage a child for LIFE.

A lead poisoned child has learning problems, is irritable, is more likely to drop out of school, commit crime, and is more likely to have Attention Deficit Disorder. * This is with light exposure.* Others become comatose and some die.

Lead doesn’t just affect children.* If you are a renovator or are around a renovation, you may feel a little slow.* Your memory may not be what it was.* You may make regrettable decisions without understanding why.* You may be quick tempered.* The dust you bring home may affect your wife, children and grand kids.

So, whatever your opinion of government intervention, it’s time to stop injuring our children, your children and yourself.* Get the training.* Prove the point that you don’t need regulating.* Given the facts, you will do the right thing!

By the way, the current RRP rule was promulgated and set in motion by George W. Bush, that includes the $37,500.00 fine and prison sentences for non-compliance.
Please, do the right thing for the right reasons.* Don’t make the argument that you should be allowed to damage children because . . . ** It just doesn’t make sense!

Jim Stump
800-966-9933*

Here's my problem with it all… If it was truely about caring and making up for past usage of something harmful, the GOV wouldn't be charging so much. A buddy of mine is a GC and he just spent $100 on a class and then had to buy a crazy expensive vacuum at the end of it. This totally reminds me of the E-Check BS we used to have to go through. I swear it's like someone in the maffia just sits around dreaming up stuff to make politicians charge people money for.

$100 a person for a class of 20 people? That's $2,000 PER CLASS. Does that all go to the instructor? Does it get split between the instructors and the people administrating the instructors? How many “jobs” does that create and does it keep them employed after the classes are done? The vacuum was crazy expensive, like $300-$400 bucks!

It's all BS to me.

Besides that, we don't cut more than 6' square on the avg. install and if we do, my buddy who took the classes comes in for a small charge to “certify” the project. It doesn't really bother me a whole lot except for the principle of it all.

Oh, and keep taxing those small-medium buisinesses! “Please, keep our children safe. Oh, and we're going to need you to go ahead and feed them and put them through school too.”

Give me a break .
mtrycrafts posts on February 21, 2011 16:24
markknick, post: 794403
…. But, there are those that say, “Not for long!” and those that say, “Government regulation is strangling construction”, and still those that say, “The science is not in yet on the dangers of lead poisoning”.*
… The science is in!
*

Thanks for your post, most interesting and sad at the same time.

Who needs science??? But, why am I not surprised. This hobby has similar folks who don't care about the sciences.
markknick posts on February 21, 2011 14:01
Feeling a little slow? Maybe, you’re a renovator!

Lead-safe renovation training and EPA or state certification is the law. * But, there are those that say, “Not for long!” and those that say, “Government regulation is strangling construction”, and still those that say, “The science is not in yet on the dangers of lead poisoning”.* These are the common arguments used against lead-safe training and certification for Renovators of all trades.

There are rumblings that the United States Environmental Protection Agency will be dissolved due to the influence of the Tea Party.* This would occur on the premise that a free, unregulated market will naturally find the right path without government intervention.* To those that are avoiding the required Renovation, Repair, and Painting training for this reason, this is the very moment for which you argue.* 310,000 American children become lead poisoned each year.* Many due to microscopic lead paint dust left in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities by renovations. *

How do we know this?* A 1992 law, passed by congress and signed by George Herbert Walker Bush requires Doctors to report lead poisoning to local health departments.* These health departments are charged with determining what causes the lead poisoning.* Our health departments remove the poisoned children from their homes for a few weeks and test their blood for lead again.* If the blood-lead level goes down, the house is the problem.* If not, they take them out of school, and so on.* Using this method of removing poisoned children from situations and testing has proven to be very accurate.* This is how Chinese toys were found to contain lead.* Today, more than not, poisoned children come from older homes that have recently been renovated.* The science is in!

The United States of America is the only country on earth with this magnitude of childhood lead poisoning.* Why?* We painted using leaded paint 50 years longer than almost all other countries on Earth.* Most of that paint is still in place.* It’s not particularly dangerous having been painted over and over again with non-lead paint.* That is, until we arrive with our reciprocating saws, sledge hammers, drills, etc.* An amount of lead as small as the contents of one single sugar packet spread over a large area can seriously damage a child for LIFE.

A lead poisoned child has learning problems, is irritable, is more likely to drop out of school, commit crime, and is more likely to have Attention Deficit Disorder. * This is with light exposure.* Others become comatose and some die.

Lead doesn’t just affect children.* If you are a renovator or are around a renovation, you may feel a little slow.* Your memory may not be what it was.* You may make regrettable decisions without understanding why.* You may be quick tempered.* The dust you bring home may affect your wife, children and grand kids.

So, whatever your opinion of government intervention, it’s time to stop injuring our children, your children and yourself.* Get the training.* Prove the point that you don’t need regulating.* Given the facts, you will do the right thing!

By the way, the current RRP rule was promulgated and set in motion by George W. Bush, that includes the $37,500.00 fine and prison sentences for non-compliance.
Please, do the right thing for the right reasons.* Don’t make the argument that you should be allowed to damage children because . . . ** It just doesn’t make sense!

Jim Stump
800-966-9933*
markknick posts on October 28, 2010 10:50
Lead Poisoning

Hey! I teach these guys, and it's usually yada-yada-yada over the fines and the second and third party lawsuits. But it isn't till these guys realize that for years they have been contaminating their children and wives by accidentally taking the lead home on their work clothes that they realize the importance of safe work practices. I've had students come back and thank me after having their children tested for lead in their blood and have them come up hot. Sad but true.
highfigh posts on June 21, 2010 22:21
Rickster71, post: 727685
^+1 That's it.
Had a friend go through the certification, it's an absolute joke.

Did he have to pay for it, or whoever he works for? Fortunately, Wisconsin has their own version of what's necessary, but that may be due to the fact that they don't want everyone to blow it off or just leave the state.
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