The Latest on Lead

  • Various
  • Various
  • Rafn Company

The Rafn Company was founded on renovation work and it still is a major focus of ours today. Safety on renovation projects is not only related to putting work in place, but also to the existing materials on site including lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. Recently, 18 members of Rafn’s construction staff attended a training session specifically on lead renovation. Here are some of their top take-a-ways:

The instructor showed a half gallon pail of paint from the 1920’s or so which weighed 12 pounds due to all the lead in it! That is in comparison to a half gallon of new paint which weighs approximately 5 pounds today. Gregg

Having the means to make a difference in lead remediation should have a strong effect on healthier living spaces for families and be safer for our trades people in renovation. Mike

We most often think of lead in paint, but it was also in varnish. Steve

The half life of lead is 30 days in blood, but in bone it is 30 years. Keegan

Lead has the potential to get trapped between boot laces and potentially contaminate outside environments, such as your home, child’s school, or your local grocery store. Michael

There are around 200,000 cases of lead poisoning per year with children under 6 being most at risk of long term affects. Lead poisoning hurts the brain and nervous system. Some of the effects of lead poisoning may never go away. Lower intelligence, difficulty in paying attention and with fine motor skills, and lower academic achievement have all been connected to elevated lead levels. And there is no way of reversing damage done by lead poisoning. Jered

Lead in soil can also get into your vegetables from your garden. Chip

“Federal law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Federal law also requires individuals to receive certain information before renovating more than six square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surface for exterior project or window replacement or demolition in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978.” It’s the Law. Luther

You are allowed to dispose 220lbs of waste per job site per month. Over this weight allowance you must contact local and State authorities for additional guidelines on where to dispose. Miles

Symptoms of lead poisoning are not always obvious. Often these are non-specific and are easily attributed to other causes. Lead exposure symptoms people typically complain of are headache, stomach ache, irritability, fatigue, loss of appetite and joint or muscle pain. All of these are similar to the flu and as a result healthcare personnel may misinterpret a patient’s condition. This can delay effective treatment and can increase the likelihood of permanent physical and mental damage. Workers with a potential for occupational exposure should have a BLL (Blood Lead Level) test at their annual physical as this is the only way to determine lead poisoning. Chelsea

There are a number of Lead Safety differences between EPA regulations and HUD regulations. To verify the presence of lead, HUD requires a certified inspector to confirm versus EPAs confirmation with a recognized test kit. All workers on a HUD job need HUD approved training while the EPA requires workers to have on the job training that is supervised by a Certified Renovator. There are only two National Lead Laboratory Accreditation testing facilities in Washington: NVL Laboratories (Seattle) and TestAmerica Richland (Richland). Kay

A standard shop vac can be outfitted with a “HEPA” filter and upgraded gaskets and seals to be used in the lead cleanup process. HEPA stands for High-efficiency particulate arrestance. Patrick

OSHA has created a new rule that took effect June 23, 2016 which requires engineering controls to keep workers from breathing silica dust. This requires employers to use engineering controls such as water or ventilation to limit worker exposure to the permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8-hour shift. This rule may require any worker cutting into stone, concrete, block, glass, sanding drywall, and pushing a broom to implement control measures such as wet saws, vacuum dust collection, and ventilation. Recognizing the limits of control may require devises to measure the amount of silica in the air. Contractors will have to establish protocols for training workers on how to recognize hazards and how to use personal protective equipment. The compliance schedule for construction will be June 23, 2017. Jamie

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