Lead abatement training involves learning about the hazards of lead-based paint, testing for the contaminant, and removing tainted paint in a safe and legal process. This training prepares contractors who renovate or demolish older buildings for handling lead safely and disposing of contaminated building materials and soil. Lead abatement training also teaches workers how to inspect for lead and assess its risk.
Most lead abatement training courses are approved by government regulatory agencies that monitor health risks from lead and other substances. These agencies typically require certification for anyone disturbing lead-based paint during renovation and maintenance projects in buildings used or lived in by children. Minor repairs that involve only a small area inside or outside the building might be exempt from lead abatement training requirements.
Buildings constructed before 1978 likely contain lead-based paint, with those built before 1950 usually tainted with substantial amounts of lead. As the paint ages, it might crack, chip, peel, or chalk away, exposing children to lead particles. Lead poisoning in children can cause learning difficulties, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems. Lead-based paint represents the most common cause of lead poisoning in children
Contractors must disclose the presence of lead to owners of buildings where work is planned. Lead abatement training prepares these workers to follow laws that require disclosure to property owners about the presence of lead. Abatement contractors usually explain the method for removal and how contaminated building materials and soil will be handled as hazardous waste.
Lead abatement training also teaches supervisors and inspectors tactics to keep employees safe from lead exposure during the renovation. Painters, carpenters, and demolition crews must be protected from contact with disturbed lead paint particles. Dust from lead paint is typically contained and cleaned up to protect workers and occupants of the building.
After completing lead abatement training, workers use scrapers, brushes, and sand blasters to remove old paint from aged buildings. In some cases, chemical paint strippers might be used to eliminate lead-based paint and prepare the surface for repainting. Most chipping and cracking of old paint occurs where the paint is abraded from use, such as on window sills, door frames, and stairways.
Training usually includes information about filing reports required by law with health and safety agencies. These reports typically outline where lead exists in amounts that warrant abatement, and the severity of the problem. They generally outline the method used to eliminate the hazard, and detail disposal procedures for contaminated materials.