Dealing with Lead Paint Removal

From JPCL, October 2017


If you encounter lead paint during a repair or restoration project, you need to know the best ways to handle remediation. Here, the authors address the history of lead in building materials and resulting regulations, as well as several lead abatement options for various substrates, including steel and wood. ...

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Tagged categories: Chemical stripping; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Lead; Lead paint abatement; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Overcoating lead; Paint and coatings removal; Paint Removal; Renovation; Restoration; Sanding and hand tool cleaning; Scrapers; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

Comment from Catherine Brooks of Eco-Strip, (11/2/2017, 8:27 PM)

Good historical overview. The authors forgot to update the methods to include infrared heat as a safe lead paint stripping option. The infrared rays soften paint without heating it to the lead vaporization temperature. Specific infrared wave lengths used in modern infrared paint removers are gentle on wood and do not penetrate deep enough into the wood to cause delayed fires like blowing hot air guns do.

Comment from H. J. BOSWORTH, (11/17/2017, 9:59 AM)

The authors also failed to include caustic dipping as a paint removal method. If the element can be removed, it can be taken to a facility that dips the part in a caustic bath, which softens or dissolves the paint. Not recommended for any hardwood but very effective for pine and cypress!

Comment from David Reynolds, (11/17/2017, 12:53 PM)

Thanks for treating this subject in its history, motivation, and current practices. We still have a good bit of deteriorating lead based paint in places frequented by kids, or as dust on Mom's or Dad's pants after renovating or repairing - just when it's time for a kid hug right where the dust pops up to breath. The article conflates in places lead abatement and work under the RRP rule. Though the principles and approaches mentioned apply to both (including relatively low temperature stripping, as commented by Catherine Brooks above), the scopes and methods of work, training and credentials, and properties covered are different. Abatement and RRP do not occur at the same time in the same engagement. Abatement is typically the larger and more comprehensive solution, but the practices of RRP can be applied expertly and economically in residences and child occupied facilities to reliable effect. My purpose is not to compromise the strongly worthwhile message of the article, just to sharpen the pencil, so to speak (pencil "lead" isn't lead) when thinking about a project in the U.S.

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