Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety

Lead Paint Guidance


REVISED 8/1/2013


This guidance document was prepared to assist University (UNI) units in dealing with lead-based paint (LBP) in facilities. The intent of this document is to provide guidance to employees, facilities planners, project designers, staff project managers and UNI Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) personnel who may need to render judgment as to whether to inspect facilities, remove or otherwise contain LBP prior to renovation, demolition or maintenance.

Lead is a recognized health hazard. Paints and coatings manufactured prior to 1978 often contained lead, sometimes in significant quantities. Renovation of buildings, especially those built prior to 1978 may involve disturbing surfaces coated with lead paint or primer, potentially exposing University employees and students to lead.

Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it. The purpose of this document is to assure that University employees are not exposed to health risks from lead.

Lead Paint Guidelines:

  1. For buildings built prior to 1978,  representative painted surfaces shall be tested for any detectable amount of lead prior to conducting any building renovation/maintenance work in-house which requires that painted or coated surfaces be demolished, sanded, scraped, cut, drilled, welded, blasted, or treated in any manner which generates airborne dust or chips from that surface.
  2. If suspected lead based paint is discovered at the beginning or during the course of a renovation/demolition/maintenance project that involves generating airborne dust or chips, work shall be suspended immediately. The supervisor and project manager shall be immediately notified. Testing of the surfaces shall be completed before resuming renovation/demolition.
  3. Testing for lead shall be conducted by University or contract personnel who are trained and certified to conduct such tests. Initial screening of surfaces shall use either XRF instrumentation or bulk sample. Any bulk samples collected for lead shall be analyzed by a certified laboratory demonstrated to have proficiency for lead analysis.
  4. All results of lead tests shall be compiled by Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). If tests are conducted by non-EH&S personnel, a copy of the test results shall be forwarded to EH&S. The University representative overseeing the work shall be notified of the test results. Test results will be made available to any UNI employee or contractor associated with the work. Test results will be made available to any interested parties upon request.
  5. If no lead is detected, no further action is necessary and work may resume. If lead is detected, a certified Lead Safe Renovator will prepare the area so that work may resume. All LBP-containing renovation/demolition/maintenance waste will be properly characterized and disposed of in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. All records will be housed in the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
Contact Name: 
David Oesterle
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