Hazardous Materials Removal Regulations for Home Remodel Projects in the US

When it comes to home remodel projects, there are certain regulations that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of those involved. In the United States, any renovation, repair or painting (RRP) project in a pre-1978 home that has lead-based paint must be handled with extra care. The EPA recommends that homeowners hire a certified lead-proof contractor who is certified and trained in safe lead work practices. This is to prevent any exposure to lead as a result of renovation and repair activities.

The RRP rule requires that contractors who carry out RRP projects in homes, child care centers, and preschools prior to 1978 have a lead safety certification.It is important for any professional contractor to recognize major hazardous construction materials and understand applicable federal regulations. Regulations must be identified at the local, state and federal levels before undertaking the remodeling, renovation, or demolition of a building. Asbestos can be present in materials such as thermal system insulation, floors, plaster, wall panels, cladding, ceilings and other materials.Residential structures with 5 or more units and commercial, industrial, institutional and public structures should be inspected by an asbestos consultant before starting the renovation or demolition, to determine if there is asbestos. If a facility is structurally sound, all material containing asbestos must be removed before demolition.

Asbestos abatement involving more than 3 linear feet or more than 3 square feet must be performed by an authorized asbestos contractor. A notification must be sent to the DPH whenever more than 10 linear feet or 25 square feet of asbestos are altered.A demolition notification must be sent to the DPH for any structure that is being demolished. Consultants and contractors are authorized by the DPH. Asbestos is regulated as a special waste and cannot be disposed of with normal waste.

Work with asbestos must be performed in accordance with worker protection requirements.In addition to asbestos, hazardous construction materials such as lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorofluorocarbons and radioactive sources can also be found in buildings of any age or condition. Federal regulations do not require the inspection of these materials (other than asbestos), but they are regulated as hazardous waste by the EPA and generally cannot be disposed of in construction and demolition landfills (with the exception of lead-based paint in full-building demonstrations). Without proper personal protective equipment, you can ingest or inhale lead dust from your home renovation project and risk carrying lead from your work area to the rest of your home.

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