Update Your Home Safely with a Lead-Safe Certified Renovator

December 27, 2010

You’ve made the decision to finally remodel the outdated kitchen and living room of your Chicago home. But if you live in a house built before 1978, a new federal law regulating the removal of lead paint will affect your home remodeling project.

In 1978, the use of lead paint was officially banned from residential construction. Before that, however, lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Today, contractors hired to do renovation, repair and painting projects that will involve at least six square feet of lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 must be EPA Lead-Safe certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Of course, six square feet is smaller than the average window, which means that pretty much every remodeling job will have to comply with this new requirement.


For young children, lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, hearing loss and behavior problems. In adults, lead poisoning can lead to hypertension and high blood pressure. Pregnant women run the risk of passing the poison on the their unborn child.

It is important that you find a remodeler who is trained in lead-safe work practices rather than try to do the work yourself. Not only that, but it’s the law: Contractors working in pre-1978 homes must be lead-paint certified and must follow these lead-safe practices whether or not there are children in the home-unless the homeowner can certify that the house is lead-paint free.

Categories: Education, Remodeling

About The Author

Read All Stories By HBA of Greater Chicago

Rita Unzer is the executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago. The HBAGC represents more than 2,000 members in the residential home industry including building, remodeling, design, financing and product manufacturing.

Leave a Comment