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Old 03-01-2011, 08:03 PM   #16
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


As a remodeler who spent $200 on the lead certification class and another $300 on the EPA certification fee, I would hope that everyone would turn in shady contractors of all types. Unfortunately, EPA oversight is virtually non-existent for lead enforcement. But please do try. Contractors like your give everyone a bad rep.

Jason Myrlie
www.jcarstenhomes.com

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Old 03-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #17
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


What state are you located in? If your state has adopted the rule, the contractor may not appear on the EPA's registry of certified firms.

Even if the work was performed under the emergency provisions of the rule--they are not exempt from clean-up and cleaning verification requirements:

Quote:
Emergency renovations other than interim
controls are also exempt from the warning sign, containment, waste
handling, training, and certification requirements in Sec. Sec.
745.85, 745.89, and 745.90 to the extent necessary to respond to the
emergency. Emergency renovations are not exempt from the cleaning
requirements of Sec. 745.85(a)(5), which must be performed by
certified renovators or individuals trained in accordance with Sec.
745.90(b)(2), the cleaning verification requirements of Sec.
745.85(b), which must be performed by certified renovators, and the
recordkeeping requirements of Sec. 745.86(b)(6) and (b)(7).
They are also not exempt from the record keeping requirements.

Clearly your contractor did not comply with the rule, particularly during reconstruction months after the initial response and clean up.

Your dispute over the square footage and billing is a separate issue--and one to take up with your attorney.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #18
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


The link I provided is to find contractors that have the necessary certifications. Not being on that list does not mean they don't have to follow the EPA rules, it *COULD* mean that they don't have the EPA certification. That would be one of those violations for which they would get a $37,500 fine. Inot sounds like there is a list of potential violations, and by potential I mean that I'm qualified to render a legal opinion but in my layman's opinion it sounds like you have a case that can be made. The EPA rule requires the contractor to retain documentation which, if they're following the law, would make it easy to prove that they followed the rules.

I would say that a good place to start would be contacting your state's Attourney General office. I believe that's where the case that I spoke of was started. I'm sure they can direct you to the appropriate agency if they are not the appropriate agency.

Also since it sounds like you have other matters which you may need to involve legal counsel, I would start there first before pursuing regulatory involvement. Your attourney will start by sending them certified letters on his letterhead. The EPA violations may be something your lawyer might want to include in his/her letter in hopes of getting the contractor to satisfy your needs without going to litigation. It may take a few letters from the attourney. My parents had to do this with a roofing company that left no ventilation (unrelated to EPA lead issues, just a point that this is a path which may hopefully lead to getting the contractor to satisfy your needs.)
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #19
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


My mistake ChrWright and WillK. They are a certified renovation firm. I did not look far enough into the results to see that they were listed.

I spoke with one of the owners and he is going to meet with me on Thursday. He has conceded to bill us for the square footage that I had confirmed by another contractor and to forgo the air scrubber charge. I asked to meet with him in person to go over, line by line, the rest of the bill so that issue should no longer be a problem now.

We are back to just the remaining issue which has been my greatest concern -- the possible lead contamination. I have gone through all my photographs and can confirm through them that no notice/warnings were posted at the work site, the registers were not covered and taped, only cardboard covered the floor in the partitioned work space and not the carpet and hardwood egresses of those work spaces, shots of the two-foot wide egresses left open at all times, the furniture in the room left uncovered by plastic and the thick construction dust left on them daily, the disposed contents taken out (note: these particular photos were from the emergency phase only -- no pictures of contents bagged during the reconstruction phase) sitting on our porch/yard; some not in plastic bags and some not tied, etc., etc.

My question then is would it be proper for me to ask him to bring all the paperwork that he has pertaining to our job with him to our meeting? I've seen a bit too many shady practices from this company now to have full faith in them anymore. I'm concerned that he could now complete the record keeping requirements after the fact to cover himself so I don't know if I should give him a heads-up like that. Or should I?

Also, should I have someone certified come in to test for lead in the drapes, upholstered furniture, and the ductwork to make sure we are safe from lead contamination. I feel now that, upon putting our house on the market someday, we will have to disclose any possibility of lead contamination from the reconstruction. Most importantly, I'm concerned for our health. Not sure there us any testing available for that though. It doesn't make sense that the EPA makes rules but don't actually enforce them. It also seems strange that the EPA can fine contractors who break rules but there are no legal or financial repercussions on their part to cover the homeowner. Just an observation, but it seems like a pretty lucrative deal to charge contractors for licensing practices that are not fully enforced.

Last edited by MyGoldenRocks; 03-01-2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:10 PM   #20
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


Ah ok. Glad to hear you're getting somewhere with them.
,
I would recommend, don't make it about documentation, you don't care about paperwork for training and so on, you want your stuff clear of lead. You can ask if he did anything up front to test for lead, if he has it. And if not, you can ask if he has any documentation of the cleanup at the end. What you want to see is pictures of his cleanup wipes after his last wipedown. The EPA class provides a card which you are supposed to compare to determine after a certain number of strokes if you've gotten surfaces sufficiently clean.

If he is at all short on documentation you ought to at a minimum ask that he have his crew do a clearance cleaning on the room or rooms where they worked, plus all adjacent rooms, and I'd want a duct cleaning at his expense unless he can document that all ducts were covered - from what you say, sounds like it didn't happen so he shouldn't have documentation and if he does hopefully you can spot anything that might be amiss..

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:30 PM   #21
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How do you test for lead construction dust on fabric?


It turns out that they did not test for lead. They told us that the original emergency work began two months before the EPA lead rules went into effect so when they returned ten months later to do the rest of the emergency work, the previous emergency work allowed them to be grandfathered into not having to follow EPA rules. They have now decided to pay a very large portion of the professional cleaning bill. They also cut their bill to the actual square footage completed instead of the estimated square footage that they billed us for.

I believe this is all I will be able to get from them .and we are considering going along with that. I am still very concerned about the presence of lead but they said that if lead was found to be present, it would be up to insurance to cover that sort of clean up and not them.

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