The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Air Pollution Control Division is responsible for developing and implementing lead certification and abatement regulations for child occupied facilities and target housing, as mandated by state statute (25-5-1101 C.R.S., et seq.). The statute governs the inspection and assessment of lead based paint and lead based paint hazards, lead contaminated soil and lead contaminated dust, and the abatement of lead based paint hazards.
The Colorado State Legislature has adopted the concept of “lead-safe” housing instead of “lead-free” housing. Commensurate with this concept, the goal of the state regulations will not be the removal of all lead-based paint, but the creation of housing and facilities where no significant lead-based paint hazard is present.
Colorado Lead Laws
On July 1, 1997, Colorado Senate Bill 97-136 was signed into law. This law (25-5-1101 C.R.S., et seq.) establishes the lead hazard reduction program in the Department of Public Health and Environment. As part of a comprehensive plan to reduce elevated blood lead levels in children and control exposure to lead-based paint hazards in residences and child-occupied facilities, this law directed the Air Quality Control Commission to promulgate rules regarding lead-based paint abatement and certification of persons and companies performing lead-based paint inspections and abatement.
Colorado Regulation No. 19 governs lead-based paint inspection, risk assessment and abatement in housing and child-occupied facilities constructed prior to 1978. These activities must be done by state-certified professionals, and under the work methods outlined in this regulation. Included in Regulation No. 19 is a list of approved lead-based paint encapsulant products for use in Colorado.
Colorado Pre-Renovation Education Rule
Colorado’s pre-renovation education rule (Lead PRE) is a Colorado regulation designed to provide residents of pre-1978 housing with information to help prevent lead exposure.
Who does Colorado’s Lead PRE apply to?
- Home Improvement Contractors
- Property Managers
- Apartment Maintenance Staff
- Remolding Contractors
- Restoration Companies
Colorado’s Lead PRE rule applies to YOU if:
- Your Work involves housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978.
- You disturb more than 2 square feet of painted surfaces.
- You are compensated for the work, do the work in exchange for other services (bartering), or you or your staff do the work as property managers.
What Does Colorado’s Lead PRE Require You to Do?
For work in houses or individual apartments:
- Distribute the EPA pamphlet, Renovate Right, to housing owners and occupants before starting work, and
- Retain records for 3 years.
For work in common areas of multi-family housing:
- Distribute renovation notices to tenants or,
- At your job site, post signs accurately describing the work, and
- Retain records for 3 years.
For work in child-occupied facilities (daycare centers, preschools, kindergartens, etc.):
- Provide the EPA pamphlet, Renovate Right, to the owner and an adult representative of the child-occupied facility.
- Provide information about you work to the parents and guardians of children under age of 7 using the facility by either mail, hand-delivery or informational signs.
- Retain records for 3 years.
What Work is Excluded from Colorado’s Lead PRE?
- Housing for the elderly or disabled persons (unless children will reside there)
- Zero-bedroom dwellings
- Housing or components declared lead-free by a certified lead inspector or certified risk assessor
- Emergency renovations and repairs.
Colorado Lead Disclosure Requirements
The Colorado Renter’s Guide advises renters of five things you should know about lead-based paint hazards:
- It is your landlord’s job to keep the paint in good shape.
- If your landlord will not fix peeling paint or water damage, call your health department.
- Make sure that workers who fix the paint do not spread paint dust.
- Workers should clean up thoroughly before they leave.
- Landlords are required by law to give you information about lead.
If you are considering renting a home that was built before 1978, you are encouraged to check for lead paint, and to make sure the lease includes a lead paint disclosure as required by the Lead Disclosure Rule.
Colorado Lead Inspections
EPA regulations do not require inspections other than following abatement and renovation. If an inspection is performed, EPA and applicable state laws govern how that inspection should be performed.
Colorado Lead Poisoning Prevention Tips
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) provides lead poisoning prevention tips in the brochure Lead Safety Time, summarized below:
Homes built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint
To prevent lead poisoning:
- Get your children tested
- Get your home inspected
- Learn the facts about working safely during home repair
Lead poisoning in children can cause serious damage to their health
- Lead can harm a child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems.
- Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
- Children under age six are most at risk.
- Lead can harm an unborn baby if the mother is exposed to lead.
Ways to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning
- Reduce exposure to dust and paint chips.
- Don’t allow kids to mouth metal objects.
- Give children foods rich in iron, vitamin C, and calcium.
- Use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking, and for making baby formula.
- Colorado recommends blood lead testing for all low income and Medicaid-eligible children:at 12 and 24 months, and between 3 and 6 years of age if not tested in the past.
Learn the Facts about Working Safely When Disturbing Paint
Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family and require large costs for proper cleanup to ensure a lead-safe environment.
Painting or remodeling a home built before 1978 can disturb lead-based paint and endanger young children.
Find out about the EPA requirements for Renovation, Repair, or Painting at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm
To find a certified lead-based paint inspector or risk assessor, who can check your home for lead paint or lead hazards, call the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) at 303-692-3150 or visit www.colorado.gov/cdphe/leadpaint
Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning in Colorado – Strategic Plan
Childhood lead poisoning has been identified as the number one preventable environmental health threat to children in the United States. In Colorado, a steering committee of some 20 individuals, representing a variety of federal, state and local entities, both public and private, have partnered to coordinate the development of a statewide lead poisoning elimination plan focused on three general areas of concern:
- Identifying children who are at risk of lead poisoning, testing those children, and initiating action;
- Educating parents and the public at large about the risks of lead poisoning and the role we each play in preventing it; and
- Identifying and controlling sources of lead in our environment.
The plan was produced by the Colorado Lead Coalition (CLC) and includes goals, objectives and strategies designed to prevent childhood lead poisoning. The plan is intended as guidance for stakeholders, providing strategies that the coalition and its partners have identified as possible remedies to specific issues.
Stakeholders encompass: families; childcare providers; health care providers; housing providers; renovators; lead service professionals; environmental organizations; policy makers; local, state and federal governmental agencies; non-governmental agencies; citizens and other entities that have an interest in, or are affected by, lead poisoning issues.
The CLC lead poisoning elimination plan identified 7 key objectives:
- Maximize results of inter-agency, business and pubic cooperation
- Identify and map at-risk populations of children under six years of age
- Increase public awareness of the need to identify and eliminate lead hazards, and to test children for lead toxicity
- Assure that healthcare providers in Colorado will correctly test children and identify those with elevated blood lead levels
- Ensure lead-safe housing for children through existing and new guidelines and requirements
- Revise existing state and local regulations, create new administrative policies to prevent, identify, control and eliminate lead paint hazards and also increase the number of firms and individuals certified pursuant to Colorado Regulation No. 19
- Identify and solicit resources for supplemental funding to individual families and property owners for lead hazard control