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Your Interactive Resource for EPA RRP Information

RRPedia logoLooking for accurate information about the EPA RRP rule?

RRPedia has been created by Shawn McCadden to help remodelers and others affected by the New EPA Renovation Repair and Painting Rule. 

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EPA Report Card: How well are they doing with the RRP Rule?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Apr 01, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

EPA Report Card:  How well are they doing with the RRP Rule?

Effectiveness of RRP Rule

 

Many news outlets and politicians have been using report card scores to express how well they think people, government policies and regulations are performing.   Several politicians, government employees and even our president have provided their own self assessment scores as well.  It is almost two years now since the EPA RRP Rule went into effect.   I thought I would offer my own report card on how I think the EPA has performed so far in four areas regarding the RRP Rule.  EPA is welcome to offer their own self assessment score.

 

Subject: Outreach about the rule

EPA has claimed to have done extensive outreach to consumers and the regulated community.  They list a variety of methods used and places where ads and announcements were placed.  

Report Card Score: D-

EPA RRP outreach resultsIn reality what they have done has not been effective.  Either the message is not effective, the placement is not effective or both.  According to a survey done by Professional Remodeler magazine 65% of remodelers surveyed estimated that less than 10% of their potential clients are aware of the rule.  Only 5 percent think more than half of homeowners know about it.

On a recent webinar with EPA Officials Regarding RRP Public Awareness and Enforcement Efforts hosted by NCHH, I asked EPA officials if they were doing any tracking to check the actual effectiveness of their outreach efforts.  They are not.  Essentially the answer was that EPA is not a professional marketing organization and has no way of tracking results.   But they said they will be doing more outreach…

 

Subject: Getting Firms Certified

EPA requires all firms doing renovation, repair and painting work on homes built prior to 1978 become EPA Certified Firms before performing or offering to perform such work.

Report Card Score: F

Number of EPA certified firms

Before the rule rule came into effect EPA stated; "There are approximately 211,000 firms estimated to become certified to engage in renovation, repair, or painting activities." As of posting this blog EPA’s web site claims that EPA has certified 97,746 firms (118,885 firms including those approved by authorized states).  According to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the most recent government census showed more than 650,000 businesses received a majority of their revenue by providing remodeling services in 2007 and that number does not include the large number of part-time, semi-retired, and “moonlighting” contractors reporting gross revenues of less than $25,000.   I think we also know there are many illegally operating contractors as well that did not make it into the census count. 

Number of remodeling contractors

Admittedly not all remodeling companies work on pre-1978 homes.  However, there are many other business types other than remodelers who disturb lead paint.  One example is exterminators.  According to Exterminator.com there are over 20,000 extermination companies in the US.  Others who would need to become certified include landlords, property management firms, banks that own foreclosed properties, housing authorities, cities/towns and municipalities. (According to Google answers there are 18,443 cities, towns, villages, and other such governing groups in the United States, not including any island areas other than Puerto Rico) I am sure you could list other business and entity types that would fall under the rule.  My best guess is that EPA has only certified about 10% of the firms that should be certified and has completely misjudge the number of firms affected by this rule.

As a side note, I contacted EPA to find out how many workers have become Certified Renovators so far.  I was told they are still trying to decide how to count them…

 

Subject: Enforcement

There are 12 states that have taken over the rule so far.  That leaves 38 states plus American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico under administration and enforcement by EPA. 

Report Card Score: F

RRP ViolationsSo far EPA has only published one violation since the rule came into effect in April of 2010.  On the other hand the state of Massachusetts took over the rule in July of 2012 and has published over 20 violation enforcements to date.

Though not confirmable facts, one commenter on a LinkedIn discussion claimed “there are only 37 Certified Firms in Maui County when there are 1,500+ Licensed Contractors and double to triple unlicensed contractors”.

Industry insiders report EPA has been doing RRP investigations.  EPA claims we will hear more about violations and enforcement very soon.

 

Subject: Protecting children and others from lead poisoning due to renovations

 “The purpose of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule is to minimize exposure from lead-based paint dust during renovation, repair, or painting activities. This is a key effort in reducing the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning, particularly lead poisoning caused by housing contaminated by renovation activities. This will also minimize exposure to older children and adults who are also adversely impacted by lead-based paint dust exposure.”  (From EPA Web site)  

Report Card Score: Incomplete

Is RRP effective, is RRP workingIt is a fact that lead is poisonous and RRP activities can cause poisoning. However, EPA does not know how many children were actually poisoned by RRP activities before the rule came into effect.  If you check any of the data it refers to RRP activities as the “likely source” of lead poisoning, not “the cause”.   That being the case, EPA has no way to know if the RRP rule is making a difference or not.  It is ‘likely” that it is helping.  But, without knowing where EPA started and where we are now that the rule has been in place for almost a year, EPA has no idea if what they have been doing is effective enough and or if or where it can improve effectiveness within the rule. 

Unfortunately, the rule may also be causing more children to be poisoned than before the rule came into effect, because of EPA's inability to adequately enforce it.  As reported in this press release, to keep costs down, consumers are hiring non-certified firms to work on their homes and the required lead safe-practices are not being used.  Also, contractors are reporting that some realtors and insurance adjusters are falsely telling consumers that the rule does not apply at their homes based on location and or for the work they are having done.  All of this has fostered an underground economy of contractors taking advantage of purposely ignoring the rule to keep prices down and improve their ability to sell jobs.

 

How do you think EPA has been doing with the RRP Rule so far?  Consider using the comment area below to offer your own subjects and report card scores.


Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Firm Certification, Health Effects of Lead, Authorized States, Violation Reports, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators

Is Low Level Exposure To Lead A Big Deal? Here is Your Answer…

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Mar 25, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Is Low Level Exposure To Lead A Big Deal?  Here is Your Answer…

Before you decide to use the RRP Opt Out if/when it comes back, consider the information below.  Will you, your clients, their kids and your employees be at risk if you do not use lead-safe work practices?

Pompeii skeleton

 

 

 While the toxicity associated with exposure to high levels of lead was recognized by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the adverse health effects associated with low-level lead exposure only became widely recognized in the second half of the 20th century.  Over the past 40 years, epidemiological studies, particularly in children, continue to provide evidence of health effects at lower and lower blood lead levels.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concludes that there is sufficient evidence for adverse health effects in children and adults at blood Pb levels below 10μg/dL and below 5μg/dL as well.  The table below provides a summary of effect by life stage at which the effect is identified.

 

National Toxicology Program logo

 

HEALTH EFFECTS OF LOW-LEVEL LEAD

Note: This information was found in a document published by NTP titled:

Draft NTP Monograph on Health Effects of Low-Level Lead, dated 10/14/11

 

Topics: Personal Protection, Health Effects of Lead, Statistics, Non-RRP Lead Topics, Opt Out Related

Latest Survey on the Impact of the RRP Rule on Businesses

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Feb 02, 2012 @ 04:40 PM

Latest Survey on the Impact of the RRP Rule on Businesses

On February 1st, 2012, Professional Remodeler Magazine released some information they collected from a December 2011 survey they did asking remodelers about how the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) has impacted their businesses.   No surprise, the survey indicated negative impact.  64 percent reported they had lost business as a result of the rule.  What seems to consistently rise to the top is the impact of illegal competition from businesses that ignore the rule and its required work practices.

Impact of the RRP Rule on Businesses

According to the excelent survey summary posted by the magazine’s Editor in Chief, Jonathan Sweet, 46 percent of respondents said less than 10 percent of remodelers in their local market are following the regulations and only 8 percent think more than half of their local competitors are in compliance.

The survey also asked about costs related to RRP.  The EPA says additional costs are $35 to $376, depending on the size and the nature of the project.   According to the survey results, 37 percent said the rule added more than $1000 to the cost of their average project and a full 81 percent said it adds more than $400.  So much for the accuracy of EPA’s estimates.

Again, the survey proved what many have already determined in the past regarding consumer awareness about the rule: very few know anything about it.   According to survey respondents, 65  percent of remodelers estimated that less than 10 percent of their potential clients are aware of the rule and only 5 percent think more than half of homeowners know about it.   This is despite what EPA refers to as extensive consumer outreach.

One interesting observation I made about the survey results is that contractors in the northeast tend to be much more aware of the rule and much more in compliance with the rule than the rest of the country.   For example, according to the survey results, 83 percent of remodelers in the Northeast were the most likely to be certified, compared to 75 percent in the West, 71 percent in the Midwest and 66 percent in the South.   Also, 80 percent of remodelers in the Northeast described themselves as very familiar with the rule, compared to 70 percent in the Midwest and 61 percent in both the South and West. RRP Statistics

In summary, although the survey didn’t seem to provide any new information, its finding are still valuable.  It did demonstrate that EPA has made very little progress getting the regulated community into compliance and with educating consumers about the rule and the reasons for it. 

Topics: Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, New Business Realities

NARI Releases Research Findings on RRP and Dust Wipe Clearance Rule

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

 The following information is from the NARI Government Affairs Committee’s newsletter of June 23, 2011 titled “NARI on the Hill”.  

NARI RRP Survey  



NARI Research on LRRP and Clearance Rule 

NARI surveyed remodeling businesses and homeowners nationwide in order to gain a better comprehension about:

  • The impact of EPA's current Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule, implemented in April 2010, on business.

  • Gaining a better understanding of how a proposed new layer of the EPA LRRP Rule, adding "lead clearance testing" would further affect business.

  • Gauging homeowner awareness of, and attitude toward the regulations.

Dust wipe testOf the 1,500+ remodeling contractor respondents, only 25% reported doing any lead clearance testing at all. Regardless of cost variations, the majority of respondents reported that significant cost is added to a home improvement project with the addition of lead clearance testing.

In addition, respondents reported that the majority of their homeowner clients were not familiar with the EPA's original LRRP Rule, implemented in April 2010.

77% of respondents indicated that homeowners have sought ways to skirt the rule, by doing parts of the work themselves, or by hiring a non-certified individual to do the work. More than half of homeowner respondents in a separate survey indicated they would like the option to opt out if small children or pregnant women are not living in their home.

 

Effects of RRP RuleWhy we did the surveys: We believe what all of you are saying out there, and we've been hearing your comments in blogs, social media, by talking to you directly. However, when trying to bring an issue to light in Washington, officials want current data to review, and providing anecdotal data as heard from third parties is typically seen as not credible, hence the surveys. NARI is sharing results of the research on Capitol Hill that EPA's implementation of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rules may increase the likelihood of lead poisoning to children, as opposed to lowering the risk. Adding to this risk is the expected forthcoming of the Lead Clearance Rule, which will only exacerbate the problem. Additionally, NARI is reaching out to small business interest groups in Washington and media nationwide to make them aware of the survey results and how the rule is impacting your business.

 

***For more on NARI’s findings, read this blog article in the Wall Street Journal by Sarah E. Needleman.  The Comments are even more telling as contractors affected by the rule share their opinions.

Topics: Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators

Undercover Investigation Calls Out EPA on Lack of RRP Enforcement

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, May 25, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Undercover News Investigation Calls Out EPA on Lack of RRP Enforcement

The video below from newsnet5.com offers a good summary of the challenges renovators are up against due to illegal competition and a government that has mandated a law that is meant to protect children without the resources and commitment to follow through. Without enforcement, in addition to causing challenges for complying businesses, the law offers a false sense of security for children and their parents who believe the government is protecting them from lead poisoning.  In fact, as the video points out, the law is in effect actually causing more lead poisoning because of the lower priced illegal contractors who ignore lead-safe work practices.

The RRP rule has definitely contributed to expanding the underground economy in the remodeling industry.   Illegally operating businesses and moonlighters ignoring the rule as well as the required work practices have been stealing work away from legally operating businesses, mostly due to the fact that they can offer much lower prices than those who comply.    This has made it very challenging for many renovators.  It has also put many children at risk of lead poisoning.

Effects of RRP RuleAt a RRP workshop I attended last week, sponsored by the Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA), several renovators complained to Mike Wilson of EPA about EPA’s handling so far of the RRP rule.   One after the other renovators cited examples of projects they had lost to other businesses that are ignoring the rule.   Several even reported home owners had laughed at them when they tried discussing the rule and its requirements.    One attendee reported that a homeowner actually told him that he would find another contractor who would ignore the rule as a way of saving money.  It all seemed to be new news to Mike Wilson who told us he oversees RRP Policy, so could not comment specifically about enforcement.  When asked what message he would bring back to the EPA in Washington after the meeting, Mike said he would let them know that regulated contractors wanted a level playing field.   Attendees let Mike know that they have been already giving that same message to EPA, perhaps if Mike delivers the message the leadership at EPA will listen and take action.

Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Firm Certification, Effects of the RRP Rule, Videos, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis?: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 08, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis?  

Ray Douglas

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Ray Douglas to express his opinion.  Ray is a remodeling contractor in Brodhead, Wisconsin and has been in business for 34 years. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

 

 

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis

If lead dust from remodeling is the main reason for elevated blood lead levels (EBBL’s) in children, then why did EBBL’s in children drop dramatically during the same ten year period (1997-2007) that remodeling activities doubled?  The CDC and Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies charts below show this.



Number of children poisoned by lead

 

Dollars spent on remodeling

In a recent blog, the question was asked of the Director of Massachusetts’ Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program; “How many children in Massachusetts were poisoned by lead due to renovation?”  The answer:  “He had no idea and said the Commonwealth doesn’t track the source of the poisoning.”

A Mercatus Reports article written by Alastair Walling in 2006 states:  “Even though the details of their own studies show little in the way of a link between R&R work and elevated blood lead, the EPA is persisting with its planned certification of R&R workers.  The proposed rules may not produce lower blood-lead levels, but they will raise the cost of renovation and remodeling.”

In a letter dated 11-27-2009, written by SBA Office of Advocacy that was sent to EPA administrator Jackson, makes the following statement:  “Advocacy believes that the evidence in fact shows that private contractors (i.e., professional renovators) subject to reasonable cleanup standards, including the “no visible dust or debris” standard, do not create additional health hazards.”

RRP SignWhen you remove all the smoke and mirrors from this rule, the EPA can prove two thoughts; 1 Some remodeling activities create dust   2 Lead paint dust can create or raise EBLL’s    Independent of each other those two statements can be proven, but the combination (which is a major foundational reason for RRP) is not so clear.  Why?

The EPA admits there are several other sources of lead exposure.  These include lead in soil, water, toys, glassware etc. The following links provide some examples:


If it was suspected that a child got EBBL’s from a remodeling activity, were all the other possibilities of lead exposure ruled out?  Was everything that the child touched or ingested also tested?  That would almost be impossible to do. However, by not doing so, how can it be proven that any lead dust generated by responsible remodelers is a leading cause of EBBL’s in children?  

If the EPA had confidence in the RRP rule, why didn’t they add the following statement inside the RRP Renovate Right pamphlet:

“The contractor, by following these rules, will contain all the lead dust he/she created doing your project, and cannot be held liable for any other past, present or future lead contamination or exposure.”

Because of the extra costs, and the lack of consumer awareness about the dangers of lead, this rule is a tough sell to the customer. It becomes an even tougher sell when the customer asks for evidence to justify the rule.  As discussed above, there is a lot of information that questions the need for it. So, unfortunately, the best answer a contractor may be able to offer is “because it’s the law”.  

RRP LettersSince I can’t explain to the customer the need for this rule, I encourage my customers and prospects to contact their state and federal representatives and ask them to provide facts and figures to explain the need for the RRP rule.  To assist them with this, I supply them with a letter to send to their representatives along with a stamped and addressed envelope.  I encourage all other contractors to consider doing the same.  

To make sending the letters easier, Shawn and I have created sample letter templates that can be shared with and used by remodeling customers and concerned homeowners.  There is a sample contractor letter available as well.  Click here to view or download the letter templates.   Special thanks to Melanie Hodgdon of Business Systems Management for helping edit the letters and for suggesting some of the content of the letters.  


 

   

Topics: Sales Considerations, Health Effects of Lead, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, Letters to send to Politicians

Was The RRP Created for the Right Reasons? - Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 @ 06:05 AM

Was The RRP Created for the Right Reasons?  

Ray Douglas

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Ray Douglas to express his opinion.  Ray is a remodeling contractor in Brodhead, Wisconsin and has been in business for 34 years. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

 

   

Was RRP Created for the Right Reasons?  

The EPA had good reasons and intentions at first to study the effects and causes of elevated blood lead levels, but the levels of EBLL’s in children ages 6 and under dropped dramatically in years 1997-2007. Data from the CDC documents the drop. 

 

Drop in EBLL's

 

So common sense and logic would say this problem was correcting itself without this new rule.  So what is the reason for RRP?

The EPA has been working for years on the effects of remodeling and renovation in connection with EBLL’s.  The EPA’s Proposed RRP Rule issued on January 10, 2006 describes how some of their research was conducted.  

Money spent on RRP ResearchIn a document dated December 1998 EPA received a study that “was funded and managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.”   I suspect EPA spent millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars on research, studies, the writing of and implementation of the RRP rule.

But something happened along the way and EBLL’s in children 6 and under dropped dramatically.  So why did EPA go ahead with the RRP?  In my opinion one of two things happened. 

  1. EPA didn’t notice EBLL’s were dropping      
  2. EPA knew the levels were dropping, but had to justify all the taxpayer money they had already spent. 

The EPA couldn’t go back to congress and tell them most of the money they spent was a waste because the problem was correcting itself.

So what did EPA do?  Create the RRP.  Why?  In my opinion I think it was to justify taxpayer money spent and to create a need for future EPA growth.   A similar situation would be like a department in industry that doesn’t use its entire operating budget in a year.   The next year the budget gets cut (layoffs etc), so the department finds a way to use the money whether it is productive or not, so they don’t have to face a budget cut the following year.

Education and public awareness were keys to EBLL’s dropping, but that may have been problematic for the EPA.  If education and public awareness were enough to reduce the problem then the EPA could potentially lose some of its congressional funding.   But by creating RRP, EPA takes a problem that was solving itself---creates regulations to solve it---then those regulations in themselves become a problem----therefore giving EPA a reason for its own existence and more congressional funding.

Topics: Health Effects of Lead, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

Trade Associations Trying To Affect the RRP Rule

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 @ 09:35 PM

Trade Associations Trying To Affect the RRP Rule and Protect Small Businesses

Trade associations have been working to affect the RRP rule and the challenges the rule creates for their members.   Renovators visiting RRPedia frequently ask me what is being done by trade associations to affect the RRP Rule, change the RRP Rule and even repeal the RRP Rule.  I have made an effort to watch for these activities for two reasons.  The first is to see who is doing what and what their strategies are.  Some I agree with and support; others I don’t.  The second reason is so I can provide links to these activities on the EPA RRP Rule Updates page of my web site.   The page shows somewhat of a chronological history of activities related to the RRP Rule even before it was put into effect on April 22, 2010.  If you know of any updates worth posting, old or new, please let me know.

NARI LOGOTwo recent efforts by trade associations recently came across my attention.   One was by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).  In a letter addressed to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, NARI Executive Vice President Mary Busey Harris, CAE
requested stricter enforcement of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. 

 

In the letter Harris offered the following:

“…non-certified contractors are working on pre-1978 homes in violation of LRRP, and we are concerned that such illegal activity will continue unless EPA launches a tough enforcement campaign.  Non-certified contractors who do work on pre-1978 homes heighten the risk of lead exposure and threaten the economic viability of remodelers who made the investment to become EPA-certified.  In our view, the only way for EPA to address the problem of non-certified contractors is to aggressively and publicly enforce the LRRP rule and to push authorized states to do the same.”


NLBMDA logoThe second effort is by The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA).  NLBMDA is urging the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to review and fight the RRP Rule as well as three OSHA programs that the dealer group is opposed to.  In a letter to Darrell Issa, Chairman of the committee, NLBMDA points out that poor development and implementation of the LRRP Rule resulted in:

• Not enough training opportunities for renovators to become certified and therefore not enough certified renovators at the time of implementation;

• Inadequate lead test kits producing over 60 percent false positives and an EPA estimated $200 million in unnecessary additional compliance costs;

• Ineffective and insufficient consumer awareness programs; and

• Woefully underestimated costs for compliance with the LRRP Rule, particularly for small businesses.

 

The NLBMDA letter also points out that:

“EPA’s inability to produce any meaningful consumer education on the LRRP Rule has also resulted in consumers hiring uncertified contractors due to the increased costs of hiring certified renovators. This means that legitimate businesses that are complying with the LRRP Rule cannot compete for much-needed work against non-compliant contractors that, ironically, lack the training to actually perform lead-safe renovations and prevent lead hazard exposures.”

Letter to EPA about RRPI suggest that the two letters contain some very good points and are well written.  Renovators with similar concerns could, using the content of these two letters as a reference, write to their own local politicians and or to EPA to express their concerns and demand that EPA recognize the challenges small businesses are having as a result of the rule as well as EPA’s lack of adequate administration and enforcement of the rule.

 

Note:  After writing this blog and seeing the comments, I was inspired to write this blog for my weekly blog on the REMODELING magazine web site.   I hope you will check it out.

Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, EPA RRP Rule Updates, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics

Costs Of RRP Challenging Many Businesses And Likely To Go Higher!

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Costs Of RRP Compliance Challenging Many Businesses and Likely To Go Higher!

Renovators have justified their concerns about the additional costs of complying with the EPA RRP Rule based on two different but interdependent reasons.  First is the cost to the business.  Businesses that do comply have to pay to become a certified firm, pay training fees for the required certified renovator training, pay the wages of the certified renovator while he/she trains non-certified workers, pay the wages of employees while they attend training, and must purchase all of the tools, related equipment and personal protection equipment needed by workers to do the work.   Second, they cite the additional labor and material costs to perform the work.  

RRP Challenges and RRP Problems

 

These additional costs might not be all that burdensome if all contractors doing RRP work shared the same burdens and where able to recover these costs through the selling prices of their jobs.  But, the additional costs become an extreme burden for many businesses if and when they are in competition with illegally operating businesses that avoid the additional costs and therefore are offering lower prices to consumers.  Many contractors are reporting that the additional costs are putting them out of business.

 

Ready for some more bad news?   The costs of compliance are likely to go up even higher, for complying businesses as well as for consumers. 

  • First, the proposed dust wipe amendment, if approved, will definitely increase projects costs and will result in delaying when the consumer can get back into the renovated space. 
  • Second, in addition to the costs related to the dust wipe testing, because contained areas cannot be re-inhabited until the tests show no lead dust, consumers may need to seek alternate living arrangements while waiting for test results to come back from laboratories. 
  • Third, because of the lack of a cost effective lead test kit that will recognize lead based on the legal definition of lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 mg/cm\2\ or 0.5% by weight, many projects that would not require lead safe practices must still be performed using lead-safe practices. 

Here is excerpt from the final rule preamble:

RRP Costs“Number of events and individuals affected: In the first year that all of the rule requirements will be in effect, there will be an estimated 8.4 million renovation, repair, and painting events where lead-safe work practices will be used due to the rule. As a result, there will be approximately 1.4 million children under the age of 6 who will be affected by having their exposure to lead dust minimized due to the rule. There will also be about 5.4 million adults who will be affected. After improved test kits for determining whether a painted surface contains lead-based paint become available (which is assumed in the analysis to occur by the second year of the rule), the number of renovation, repair, and painting events using lead-safe work practices is expected to drop to 4.4 million events per year. No change in the number of exposures avoided due to the rule is expected because the improved test kit will more accurately identify paint without lead, thus reducing the number of events unnecessarily using the required work practices.”

So, because the EPA falsely assumed that the improved test kits would be available by September 2010, 4.4 million RRP projects will bear the additional cost of lead-safe practices that would not be required if the improved test kits were available.  That one bad assumption by EPA, based on the bogus and underestimated average additional cost of $35 per project, will result in $140 million in additional costs for projects “unnecessarily using the required work practices”.   What do you think about that?   What would consumers think about that?

Topics: Estimating Considerations, Tools and Supplies, Lead Test Kits and Testing, Effects of the RRP Rule, Amendments, Statistics

Is Money Spent On RRP A Cost Effective Approach To Lead Poisoning

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 @ 06:00 AM

Is Money Spent On RRP A Cost Effective Approach To Lead Poisoning?

Effects or RRP RuleHow bad is the child lead poisoning problem?  And, how many of the poisoned children were poisoned by lead due to renovation work?  The answer to these two simple questions might surprise you.  Had the EPA and Congress done adequate research, might they have found better and more cost effective ways to further reduce the number of lead poisoned children? 

First in the chart below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) are the national numbers for lead poisoned children over the ten year period from 1997 to 2007.   Notice that the number of children tested went up two fold, while at the same time the number with elevated blood levels dramatically dropped from about 7.5% of those tested down to about 1%, representing about an 87% drop.     Keep in mind that all this happened before the RRP rule took effect in April of 2010 and while then Senator Obama was pushing EPA to enforce the RRP Rule.  The chart proves that a recently released confusing and shortsighted regulation is now in place to address a problem that was already being dramatically reduced by other means.  Might this prove that the government is going about solving the problem using tactics with limited effect while at the same time they are unaware of or even ignoring tactics they could expand upon that are already working?

 

Number of zChildren poisoned by lead

DIY Homeowners on floor wr largeNo child should be poisoned by lead.  However, our government and politicians are concentrating in the wrong area if they really want to substantially address the lead poisoning problem.   As I had discussed in a previous blog, more children are poisoned by their own parents doing renovations than by contractors doing renovations.  One study in NY showed that only 14% of those children found to have lead poisoning got it as a result of RRP related activities.  The same study also reported that almost twice as many children were poisoned by their parents doing their own RRP work than by all others doing RRP work.  It is likely that most would be renovation companies, but a good number could also have been homeowners who did the work before selling to a new owner, amateur “flippers”, landlords and or property developers doing their own work.

If our government has limited resources and money for something as important as lead poisoning, why has it chosen to address the problem by spending so much money and resources on regulating contractors when that same money could be better invested if it were used to educate and regulate the homeowners (parents) who cause the majority of RRP related poisonings in children, unfortunately and often unknowingly, their own children? 

Topics: Health Effects of Lead, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics