Information About Certified Lead Professionals - Environmental Lead Program

Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR) apply to housing (also known as "target housing" by the TELRR) and child-occupied facilities (i.e., daycare centers and kindergartens) built before January 1, 1978. To do any lead-based paint activity in these structures, such as inspections, risk assessments, lead hazard screens, or abatements, the individuals and firms conducting this work must be certified (licensed) by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Environmental Lead Program. Although the following is a brief summary of the TELRR requirements, the TELRR should always be consulted as the final authority to determine absolute compliance requirements.

Locating a Certified Individual or Firm

DSHS certifies six lead-based paint disciplines, which are Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor, Lead Abatement Supervisor, Lead Abatement Worker, Lead Abatement Project Designer, and Lead Firm. As a point of information, individuals who possess the Lead Risk Assessor certification are allowed by the TELRR to do lead-based paint inspections, as well as all other certified Lead Inspector duties, even though they are not required to possess the Lead Inspector certification. Choose a certified professional or firm wisely by asking them to provide you with a copy of their certification credentials and references of completed jobs they have done.

Lead-Based Paint Inspections and Risk Assessments

Any lead-based paint inspection conducted in target housing or child-occupied facilities must only be done by a certified Lead Inspector or certified Lead Risk Assessor per the TELRR. A lead-based paint inspection is a surface-by-surface investigation to determine the presence of lead-based paint in these facilities.

Paint chip collection and/or XRF (x-ray fluorescence) analysis are common ways to determine the presence of lead-based paint while chemical test wipe (swab) kits are not acceptable as they give inaccurate results for TELRR purposes. Interpretation of the results of the inspection, including assessing any hazards, can only be done by a certified Lead Risk Assessor. In addition, lead hazard screens, and any soil or dust sampling conducted (except for abatement clearance activities), can only be done by a certified Lead Risk Assessor.

Paint chip, soil, or dust samples must be sent to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Recognized Laboratory (accredited through the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program - NLLAP) for analysis to determine the presence of any lead in the sample. (To inquire about these EPA-recognized laboratories, call the National Lead Information Center toll-free at 800-424-LEAD or view the current listing at this EPA lead website.)

A written lead inspection report must be developed by the certified Lead Inspector or Risk Assessor and include such information as the date of inspection, address of the building sampled, and specific locations (building components) tested for lead-based paint.

If the intent is to determine the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead-based paint hazards, then an on-site risk assessment conducted by a certified Lead Risk Assessor would be required (certified Lead Inspectors cannot perform this activity). The risk assessment is documented in a written report explaining the results of the investigation and options for reducing lead-based paint hazards including a description of interim controls (i.e., operations and maintenance) and/or abatement options for each lead-based paint hazard. If an encapsulant or enclosure is recommended, then a maintenance and monitoring schedule shall be included in the risk assessment report. Copies of all reports prepared by the certified Lead Inspector or Risk Assessor must be provided to the building owner who contracted for its services, per state rules.

Note: As a point of information, owners of rental properties and owners selling their property must ensure that information contained in these reports is given to their prospective tenants or buyers per Section 1018 of the "Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992" and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 745, Subpart F, "Disclosure of Known Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards Upon Sale or Lease of Residential Property" (Additional information, downloadable versions of the required disclosure pamphlet, and example disclosure forms are available at this EPA lead website).

Lead-Based Paint Abatements

All lead-based paint abatements in target housing or child-occupied facilities usually have as a minimum the following certified entities involved: a certified Lead Firm; a certified Lead Abatement Supervisor to oversee the project; certified Lead Abatement Workers; and a certified Lead Inspector or Lead Risk Assessor to do clearance testing of the abatement.

All samples collected in connection with an abatement, including clearance samples, must be sent to an EPA-Recognized Laboratory for analysis. (Although there is no conflict-of-interest prohibition in the TELRR, it is recommended that the certified Lead Inspector or Lead Risk Assessor be a third-party representative to the abatement project, separate from the lead abatement contractor.) Larger projects may require the services of a certified Lead Abatement Project Designer.

Certified individuals working on an abatement site are required to have in their possession a current department-issued certification identification (ID) card. Additionally, per Section 295.212(d)(5) of the TELRR, a certified Lead Abatement Supervisor or a certified Lead Abatement Project Designer must develop a written Occupant Protection Plan for each abatement project and this document must be at the worksite at all times. Furthermore, according to Section 295.212(d)(6), unless presumed lead, a copy of the Lead Inspection or Lead Risk Assessment report prepared for the lead abatement project shall be kept at the worksite by the certified lead abatement firm and be available for department inspection. Specific work practice standards, as referenced in Section 295.212(d)(7) of the TELRR, must be followed at all abatement jobs. Furthermore, notification of each abatement project, as per Section 295.214(c) of the TELRR, is required to be made to the DSHS, Environmental Lead Branch, and the appropriate DSHS Regional Office at least seven (7) working days before the abatement job.

Exclusions to Abatements

The TELRR specifically excludes from the definition of abatement any renovation, remodeling, and landscaping activities that are not designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, but, instead, are designed to repair, restore, or remodel a given structure or dwelling, even though these activities may incidentally result in a reduction or elimination of lead-based paint hazards. However, if activities being conducted are intended to permanently eliminate lead hazards, these activities are considered abatement. This is determined when abatement is specified in project specifications, job write-ups, bid contracts, or similar documents. When the primary purpose of work is rehabilitation or weatherization, these activities are not considered abatement. The TELRR definition of abatement also excludes interim control activities, operations and maintenance activities, or other measures designed to only temporarily, but not permanently, reduce lead-based paint hazards. Furthermore, the definition of abatement excludes demolition of target housing buildings and child-occupied facilities.

Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Regulations

Please be aware of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2008 Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) Rule (as amended in 2010 and 2011), which became fully effective on April 22, 2010. This federal rule is being administered by the U.S. EPA in Texas. It requires renovators to provide a copy of the new EPA Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Childcare Providers, and Schools (PDF) pamphlet to homeowners, building managers, daycare centers, schools, and occupants of older housing before beginning work in pre-1978 constructed housing and child-occupied facilities (effective since December 22, 2008). Documented verification of receipt of the pamphlet must also be obtained. The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program Rule also requires renovators, remodelers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors, multi-family unit maintenance professionals, and others to use certain lead-safety techniques and become certified to work on, renovate, and/or remodel pre-1978 constructed housing and child-occupied facilities. This requirement is enforced when a renovation, repair, painting job, or other work disturbs more than 6 square feet of interior surface space in a room and 20 square of exterior surface space (i.e, sanding, scraping, demolishing, drilling, cutting, replacing windows/doors, etc.). Effective April 22, 2010, renovations, repairs, and painting in target housing (built before 1978) and child-occupied facilities (built before 1978) must be conducted by an EPA-certified Renovation Firm (licensed by EPA) using a certified Renovator (a person who has received a Renovation training course completion certificate from an EPA-accredited trainer), and following the lead-safe work practice requirements of the federal rule. Before renovation work commences, a homeowner of a pre-1978 constructed home or owner of a child-occupied facility built before 1978 should verify that the contractor is indeed a certified Renovator by asking for a copy of their certified Renovator certificate issued by an EPA-accredited trainer and is also working for a certified Renovation Firm (ask to see a copy of the EPA-issued certified Renovation Firm certificate which is an EPA license). You can search and verify EPA Renovation Firm Certifications here. If you have questions regarding U.S. EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program rule, check out the EPA RRP website or you can call the EPA Lead Hotline at 800-424-LEAD (5323) or the EPA Region 6 office in Dallas at 214-665-6711.

For More Information

Please contact the DSHS, Environmental Lead Program, at 512-231-5792 or toll-free in Texas at 800-293-0753 if you have any questions. See the contact information page for more numbers.

If you have any questions regarding federal requirements for lead-based paint, you may call 800-424-LEAD (5323) or the EPA Region 6 office in Dallas at 214-665-6711.