Recently I have been speaking with clients and builders about the EPA regulation which became effective Aprill 22 throughout the US. It requires certification for a home improvement contractor to perform work on any home built prior to 1978 which contains lead paint.
The interior work doesn't seem too onerous as far as procedures to comply with the regulations and the extra cost should not be a job killer.
The outside is a different matter however, in that let's say you are going to power wash the house in preparation for the painting. You must contain the spray completely and collect and remove the water along with the materials which came off the house. In addition, should any paint come in contact with the ground, 5" of the soil must be removed as well.
You may think, well why not just scrape and/or sand the surface? Well, you can only sand if you use a HEPA vac sander which captures the dust. Have fun making sure you don't miss any though!
By the way, the fine for non compliance with the regulation is $37,500 A DAY !
And lets say you just have a relatively easy interior job. There is a white glove requirement where the interior has to be wiped and the "glove" sent to a lab for testing. If any lead is in the sample - you must clean again and glove again and test again until you pass.
Oh, and for those who may try and do their work on the QT . . . neighbors are encouraged to turn you in.
All in all, it does not bode well for owners or buyers of pre 1978 built homes to do resonably priced home improvements and renovations.
The reason is well justified for the initiative, the removal of lead poisoning of our children. About a half million are affected with learning disorders due to lead poisoning.