Are Homeowners Aware of Lead Rules?

John G. Swanson
October 12, 2010
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is hoping to help raise awareness of the dangers of lead exposure by observing National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week  October 24-30. In light of the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair, Painting Rule, NARI sees this week as a good time to encourage consumers to hire lead certified remodelers when remodeling a home built prior to 1978.

My guess is that many homeowners are still unaware of the new lead paint rules and that such efforts are needed. I thought I'd check, however, with this week's poll.

And, of course, I'd like to hear from you too. Now that the EPA rules are in effect, what kind of reactions have you had from homeowners when you've explained lead safe work practices to them?  What impact have the regulations had on your business?  Post your comment below or email me and share your thoughts. 

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The EPA's strong-armed tactics, draconian mandates and crippling fines have hamstrung the remodeling profession and effectively raised prices across the entire country. Our area is no exception. Many contractors refuse to touch these properties while other not-so-scrupled contractors are taking advantage of the situation by charging prices twenty times over what is called for.     People who learn about this law are afraid to have their homes tested for fear of being caught in this quagmier. Please help repeal this ridiculous law!!!

Survey Results as of 10/18/2010:

When it comes to new lead rules,

Virtually no customers are aware of them.





Only a small percentage of customers are aware of them.





More than half our customers are aware of them.





Between a quarter and a half are aware of them.





John also writes:

As I expected, most readers report very little awareness about new EPA lead rules among homeowners. That awareness may get a bit of a boost, however.  One reader emailed me to report that the importance of lead safe work practices (along with the legal requirements) were noted on last week's This Old House.

I missed it, so I don't know if Norm put on a Hazmat suit or not, but watchers of these types of shows are bound to learn more about lead going forward.  Events like Lead Poisining Prevention Week will also help.

People won't necessarily be happier about paying the added costs, but hopefully, there will be fewer suspicions that we're trying to pull a fast one when we tell them what the job entails.  

I agree with Mr Hartman's comment.

Now that we are into the season, people are scrambling to get that tax credit, and begin to balk when they hear about the increased cost of installation due to the lead law.

Most of the customers are not aware untill they start shopping. They do not like it and believe the government is getting out of hand and wonder who's getting all the money. We don't believe that we have lost sales to companies that are not certified but we have lost orders because of the cost of lead, especially if they had a price last year and want to get them done before the tax credit is over. Every one of our installers, salespeople, and managers certified.

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