HEPA Vacs and EPA Lead-Based Paint Renovation Rules

In this month’s Construction Distribution Magazine there is a really nice article titles “Help Your Customer Choose a HEPA Vacuum”. The article is aimed at those selling vacuums but I think it is probably much more helpful for those buying them. It covers the basics of the HEPA vac, how it will treated by the EPA Restoration, Repair and Painting (RRP) rules as well as some of the attachments you will need for specific jobs.

One other bit of good new you will find in the article is that the official start date for enforcement has been moved back to October 1, 2010 for the individual training and company certification. Also if an individual has applied to enroll in one of the courses by September 30, 2010 they will have until December 31, 2010 to complete the training.

If you are interested in more specific information covered in the compliance course our friend Everett over at ProToolReviews will be able to shed some light on that. He attended the 2 day course and did a nice article that gives his experience as well as voicing some concerns and frustrations with the process.

Some high points we gathered in our quest to learn more about the topic were that is seems pretty unlikely there are going to be EPA agents stopping by every renovation site on October 2nd, 2010. However the fact is you will need to hold on to the records for 5 years and if a home owner has any issues with lead paint down the road you will be responsible. Our thought would be to  get compliant right away vs facing a $37,500 fine in a few years when there will be most likely will be more EPA regulations.

In terms of HEPA vacs for “in use” renovations for the past many years we have seen folks use high quality vacuums like the Bosch 3931A ($599, Ohio Power Tool) and simply replace the filters with the Bosch HEPA filter VAC019 ($199). Starting October 1st, according to the new EPA rules this system would not qualify as a HEPA system for Lead-Paint Removal as it has not been certified as a complete unit. We spoke with Bosch officials and there will be a certified HEPA version of the 3931A coming soon but no official word on price or release date.

The one company that seemed to have gotten way in front of the HEPA vacuum bandwagon is Dustless Technologies. Their HEPA Vacuum ($441, Ohio Power Tool) is one of the least expensive on the market and while missing some of the advance tool power management features out of the box, these are simple add-ons. They also have developed a wide range of concrete dust extraction products like the BitBuddie for core drilling, CutBuddies for tuck pointing, DustBuddies for surface grinding and the Dustie as the most economical dust removal solution.  

If you have any additional questions about HEPA vacuums or accessories feel free to give the guys at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 and they will be happy to help you find the right tool for the job. If you would like to learn more about the EPA guidelines classes etc, please visit www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm.     


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