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Lead Paint Removal Work Practices

Removal of Lead Paint

Removal is the stripping of the lead containing paint and its elimination from the premises. This is, by far, the most preferred and desirable method since it is the complete and permanent solution to a lead dust problem. However, lead dust removal is also the most costly since it involves technical equipment and stringent worker procedures to ensure safety.

To understand why abatement costs seem high is to understand what is involved. For example in removal, the basic course of action will include the following:

  • Containment barriers must be constructed around the work area.
  • Air locks are built in for entry of personnel and equipment.
  • A decontamination facility must be set up because workers must wash every time they leave the work area.
  • Workers are required to wear respirators and disposable suits.
  • Containment barriers must be continually inspected for tears and must be repaired immediately.
  • All workers must have continuous bloodtestsfor lead levels.
  • Continuous air monitoring must be maintained inside the work area, outside the work area, and on removal by personnel.
  • All debris is placed in secure containers and is taken by a verified waste hauler to an approved disposal site.

Thorough cleanup must be done after removal which includes air filter vacuuming andwetmopping of all surfaces. All barriers are disassembled and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Lead has long been recognized as a harmful environmental pollutant and is thought to be the number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States. This is due to the fact that lead is more easily absorbed into growing bodies, and the tissues of small children are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Lead-based paint is the most significant source of lead exposure in the United States. The harmful exposure to lead can be created when lead-based paint is improperly removed from surfaces by dry scraping, sanding, or open flame burning. The lead particles become airborne, and are spread throughout the entire area. Lead affects practically every system in the human body. At high levels, it can cause convulsions, coma and even death. At lower levels, lead can adversely affect the brain, central nervous system, blood cells, and kidneys.


Work Practices – Interior Work

Plastic sheeting (6 mil thickness) shall be used to protect the following areas:

  • Floor surfaces of work area
  • Furnishings (e.g. desks, chairs, computers, etc.)
  • Ventilation diffusers, vents, grills

Scraping and sanding of LBP shall be conducted using a spray water bottle to pre-wet the affected surface and to mist the air. Loose paint chip debris shall be HEPA vacuumed from the plastic sheeting before removal and disposal of the sheeting. Final cleaning of affected work surfaces shall be accomplished by wet wiping and HEPA vacuuming. Clean water or a high phosphate solution (i.e. 5% tri-sodium phosphate) shall be used.

Work Practices – Exterior Work

Plastic sheeting shall be used to protect the following areas:

  • Shrubs, trees and ground cover beneath the work area
  • Sidewalks and other paved areas
  • Outside air intakes, window air conditioners and other vents

Plastic sheeting shall be secured to the building and extend out at least 8 feet. Windows and doors shall be closed for the duration of the work. A barricade shall be erected to control pedestrian traffic around the abatement work area.

Window Removal and Replacement:

Window surfaces shall be pre-cleaned with a HEPA vacuum prior to window replacement. Nearby interior surfaces and occupant belongings shall be protected with (6) mil plastic sheeting. Exterior surfaces shall be protected.

The following sequence of work shall be followed:

  • Unscrew and remove exterior stops
  • Remove top sash
  • Remove parting beads with pry or pliers
  • Remove bottom sash
  • Remove right and left side window trough casings with pry
  • Pry off head stop
  • Remove existing mullions
  • Remove exterior header
  • HEPA vacuum surrounding surfaces and window wells

The removal sequence for custom windows (e.g. stained glass, bow, plate glass) with components that are lead painted shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The following Specific Requirements must be adhered to by the abatement contractor:

  • The lead contractor must have an EPA certification.
  • The supervisor must complete (40) hour EPA lead supervisor compliance course.
  • The laborer must complete (30) hour EPA lead worker compliance course.
  • The supervisor and laborers must complete a lead worker OSHA compliance course
  • All workers must have a Blood Lead Level(BLL)prior to commencement of work.
  • Personal Air monitoring must be done by the lead abatement contractor for the crew.
  • Ambient Air testing must be done by the 3rd party environmental consulting firm.
  • Contractor must send the work schedule to EH&S prior to commencement of work.
  • SDS for the Peel Away or Back to Nature must be forwarded to EH&S prior to commencement of work.
  • SDS for paint or primer must be forwarded to EH&S prior to commencement of work.
  • Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be utilized by the laborer, such as respirator, gloves, hardhat, protective clothing, safety belt and safety harness, if applicable.
  • Fall Protection Plan
  • Site Safety Plan
  • Wash station or a Personal Decontamination Unit must be utilized.
  • Lead debris will be discarded in a fifty five gallon drum provided by EH&S.
  • Coordinate with EH&S to pickup and drop off fifty five gallon drum.
  • Setup a storage room for lead debris prior to commencement of work.
  • Storage rooms must have a lock and a caution sign on the door. Drums must be sealed and labeled.
  • Disposal arrangements in a roll-off container must be coordinated with EH&S.
  • Work procedures must be approved by the Lead Coordinator prior to the commencement of work.
  • There must be containment of the lead abatement project with lead warning signs, tent, and caution tape.
  • The area must pass final clearance wipe testing and ambient air testing.
  • Final clearance wipe testing and ambient air testing lab results must be included in the final report.

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