Aiming to further reduce lead poisoning in children, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarified that contractors can manage residential lead-based paint (LBP) waste as household waste. Allowing LBP waste to be managed this way makes it more affordable for people to reduce lead in and around their homes.
Contractor Waste Residential contractors frequently work on residential dwellings like single family homes, apartment buildings, row houses, military barracks, or college dormitories. They routinely generate LBP waste during lead abatement, remodeling, or rehabilitation work on these residences. The waste consists mostly of building parts, such as doors, window frames, painted woodwork, and paint chips. Because the standards were unclear, contractors who needed to dispose of lead-based paint waste were uncertain about how to properly manage it.
EPA’s policy statement allows contractor-generated LBP waste to be disposed of as household waste. Household waste is regular garbage or trash that is disposed of as municipal waste, and managed according to state and local requirements. Residents are already entitled to manage their own LBP waste in this manner. Extending this option to contractors simplifies abatement work and lowers its cost, which will allow more lead paint removal from more homes nationwide. Consequently, people’s homes everywhere will be safer for both children and adults.
EPA encourages everyone who handles lead-based paint to follow several common sense measures:
Collect paint chips, dust, dirt, and rubble in plastic trash bags for disposal. Store larger LBP building parts in containers until ready for disposal. If possible, use a covered mobile dumpster (such as a roll-off container) to store LBP debris until the job is done. Contact local solid waste authorities to determine where and how LBP debris can be disposed of.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) contains training and certification requirements that contractors also should learn and follow. These requirements are under TSCA 402/404, and can be found on the Internet at