Lead Based Paint

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Click here for firms certified by EPA to test for or renovate lead-based paint surfaces.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires that firms completing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in schools, childcare facilities, and homes built before 1978 use certified renovators who are trained to follow lead-safe practices.

This rule recognizes the critical role contractors play in helping to prevent lead exposure. Ordinary renovation and maintenance activities can create dust that contains lead. By following lead-safe work practices, you can prevent lead hazards.

Under the rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public, or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis. The requirements apply to renovation, repair, and painting activities, and generally not to minor maintenance or repair activities in which less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or less than 20 square feet of lead-based paint on the exterior of a building is disturbed. However, the rule does include window replacement, demolition, or prohibited practices.

Contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area
  • Minimize dust
  • Clean up thoroughly


To help accelerate the pace of lead-based paint removal from residences — and reduce potential health risks to children and adults from exposure to lead —EPA allows residential lead-based paint waste to be disposed of in construction and demolition landfills, stating that because a construction and demolition landfill accepts no other household waste than residential lead-based paint waste, it is not a municipal solid waste landfill unit.

Read EPA's Regulations on Residential Property Renovation at 40 CFR 745, Subpart E.

The rule affects paid renovators who work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, including:

• Renovation contractors
• Maintenance workers in multi-family housing
• Painters and other specialty trades

Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Learn how to become an EPA-certified firm and where to take a training course near you.

Don't forget about OSHA lead paint requirements! For more information, please contact OSHA at 406-247-7494 or view their manual on Lead in Construction.

 If you have questions about becoming a Lead-Safe Certified Firm or other environmental concerns, contact:

John Podolinsky
Small Business Ombudsman
PO Box 200901
1520 East Sixth Avenue
Helena, MT 59620-0901
Phone: 406-444-6592 

Environmental Assistance Toll-free Hotline:

Additional Resources:

Center for Disease Control - Preventing Children's Exposure to Lead

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program