Hey, Hey we’re the Monkees! #2


34513We don’t Monkey around.

Monkeys post 1

Now in April we start a hysterical attempt to control the damage, at an economic cost that may compound the problem. Knee-jerk attempts to rectify the problem quickly by encapsulating lead tainted debris in plastic will add cost and inconvenience and the people performing the work will be poorly trained and ill equipped to properly determine if they are actually keeping lead dust contained. In time we will discover good work practices concerning lead control but that’s likely a few years away.


I call my insurance agent, a dedicated contractor insurer, he knows nothing about the EPA lead stuff.

I go to a NARI Roundtable meeting, 10 smart and educated members are wondering what’s up and what will the impact of this rule be on their business.

As a member of NARI and NAHB I see both groups are jogging in place to help their members prepare, no one is sure what exactly will happen.

Plastic and more plastic will be needed, will we bag 2- 40 yard dumpsters with plaster and lath when doing a whole house remodel, can we sell this abatement to homeowners.

Look, I support getting poisons out of our homes, ignorance is no excuse, if it ain’t good for you it doesn’t belong in a living area, but wait a minute, I want to see the studies that lead control works, I want to see how much cost it can add to a project and I want properly trained enforcers and I want enforcement and consequences to people and companies who don’t follow the rules.

So what’s next, maybe this, NARI, NKBA, NAHB, and every building organization affected by this rule should start talking, form a committee and decide on a plan of action. The way things stand we have too many uncertainties starting in April 2010.

What I propose is that our entire industry communicate and work to a smart and concise practice for testing, assessment and resolution to working in homes that have lead. Right now we have a one size fits all approach that will be enforced by people who really won’t be ready to make this work.

You got a solution, lets hear about it.

Paul Lesieur/ Remodel Crazy
First post – EPA Lead Rules and the Monkees of Nikko Toshogo


  1. Paul,

    I have a few solutions for modifications to the EPA lead rules that I think would both make everyone’s life easier and moderate costs to homeowners.

    1. Narrow the focus of the bagging of waste rule. Waste that contains large quantities of dust should be bagged and it although it would require some additional cost both in material and time, it would certainly be much more reasonable than having to do things like cut down kitchen cabinets or mouldings to fit in trash bags.

    2. Mandate the order of operations in demolition. Fixtures and mouldings that are removed before demolition of wall coverings and other dusty activities is something we all do anyway, and without a layer of dust on mouldings and other fixtures there would be no logical need to bag it.

    3. Eliminate the rule requiring floors to be covered with plastic. This creates a dangerous situation for workers as plastic on the floor is extremely slippery. It also offers very little in the way of dust control that couldn’t be accomplished differently. Require simply that floor coverings that are going to be kept intact must be covered during demolition and that covering must be cleaned thoroughly with a HEPA vac before removing OR floor coverings that are going to be removed should be left intact until all other demolition is complete, then they should be cleaned with a HEPA vac before removing.

    4. Windows must be kept closed unless a mechanical device is creating negative air pressure in the remodeling area. This mechanical device must be equipped with a HEPA filter.

    5. As an exception to rule 4, a window may be open if it contains a window fan unit blowing outward equipped with a HEPA filter.

    6. Doorways into the area being remodeled should be covered with plastic. HVAC registers and returns should be sealed with plastic, tape or any type of commercially available duct/register duct protector.

  2. Paul,

    What a shame. My NARI chapter pioneered the Lead Safe Work Practices (LSWP)13 years ago in PA in conjunction with HUD and Applied Systems (John Zilka). I’m an insurance agent and have been fighting this legislation for years knowing the damage and hardship it places on my contractor clients but to no avail. This is an emotional argument…it harms and kills kids, period. Yeah I know the parents who are purchased the home are exposing their kids and your employees and their kids to the effects of lead but Contractors are the ones who make it go airborne by utilizing poor work practices.

    The stuff the EPA wants you to do will add a significant amount of money to the project and the real losers are the homeowners BUT between the EPA and OSHA they don’t care. The EPA’s initial estimate is that it would only cost $50.00 per project in increased cost. Hell you can’t by poly and tape for that now a days. They’ve already run manufacturing out of this country and need a new target and well, Contractors are it!!!

    These requirements are NOTHING compared to mold remediation requirements and I strong suggest you go sit in a Mold Awareness Certification class for a day which one of your local Mold Remediation/Water Disaster companies would love to sponsor for you. THEN you’ll get a wake up call and be grateful the EPA is using a SLEDGEHAMMER on the industry (yet – Acronym for YOUR ELIGIBLE TOO!). Mold isn’t regulated yet by the EPA…imagine that.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here