As we move into spring, I see a number of affiliate's beginning to start or ramp up their ABWK programs. One of the significant concerns that some affiliates are struggling with is how to deal with homes that have lead paint.
Most older homes built before 1970 have some lead paint on them. The lead is usually hidden under a coat or two of latex paint and has leached into the siding as well.
Lead paint does not need to be a problem. If you get your affiliate and site staff certified according to EPA standards it shouldn't be a problem.
At TCHFH, we have been performing lead safe practices for over 15 years with our staff and volunteers. We work closely with our Department of Health (which in many states is the EPA enforcer) and Regional EPA office. We do not test all of our homes but usually assume all have lead on them. When we do test, we are allowed to use the 3M Leadcheck swabs to determine if their is lead on a home.
We perform all the required paperwork, train our volunteers (about 20 minutes on site) and inform our homeowners on lead safety. Check with your state and local laws for disposing of paint chips.
Our biggest concern is keeping children and women who are pregnant away from the site during lead remediation.
If you get certified, perform the required lead safe practices (not as big of a deal as it might seem) and properly train and communicates to all those involved, working with lead should be a non-issue.