This article was posted on Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Was your property built before 1978? If so, lead-based paint was most likely used during the original construction. As the owner, you need to be aware of the dangers of lead-based paint and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) law that affects you.

The Law

The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and preschools built before 1978 have their firm certified by the EPA (or an EPA authorized state). In addition, these firms must use certified renovators trained by EPA-approved training providers who follow lead-safe work practices.

The EPA instituted the law on April 22, 2010, due to the dangers of lead, especially for children. The law requires contractors and maintenance professionals to be certified and their employees trained. In addition, they must follow protective lead-safe work practice standards when renovation, repair, or painting activities will disturb more than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or when 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior. Two-thirds of homes and half of the schools and day care centers built before 1960 have some lead-based paint.

Lead is often found around door frames, window sills, stairs, railings, porches, and fences. Simply vacuuming or sweeping can circulate lead throughout homes. This is particularly dangerous for children as lead dust can land on toys, remote controls, and other items children touch and put in their mouths. Renovations disturbing lead-based paint include:

  • General construction
  • Painting renovations
  • Routine maintenance
  • Window and door repair or replacement
  • Residential projects involving sanding, scraping, heating, or power washing of painted surfaces

Renovate Right Brochure

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating more than six square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement or demolition in housing, childcare facilities, and schools built before 1978.

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  • You must give this pamphlet to tenants before starting work.
  • Child care facilities, including preschools and kindergarten classrooms, and the families of children under six years of age that attend those facilities: renovators must provide a copy of this pamphlet to child care facilities and general renovation information to families whose children attend those facilities.

This pamphlet is available to AOA members and may be downloaded FREE by visiting It is called the EPA Lead Base Paint Renovate Right Brochure.

Always Use a Certified Lead Contractor

Though it may be tempting to do home renovations yourself, remember by spreading lead in an uncontained manner, you are putting families and neighborhoods at great risk. Painting over lead-based paint with regular paint is not good enough.

To permanently remove lead hazards, the EPA requires you to hire a certified lead abatement contractor. Certified contractors employ qualified workers and follow strict safety rules governed by the State of California and the federal government.

Editor’s Note:  Recertification is required every five years. AOA is once again offering in-person RRP Certification and RRP refresher courses. If you are not lead-safe certified, non-compliance with the rule can lead to fines of up to $37,500 per violation per day!!

Has your certification expired? If so,  you must take the RRP Certification course again.

If your certification has not expired, you are eligible to take the shorter recertification course.

Check the schedule of in-person seminars on or call 800-827-4262 and register NOW!