Tips for Checking a Contractor's
        Background & Experience

D     Always ask to see a contractor's lead-based paint
       license or certificate.

D     If they are not certified, ask to see a contractor's
       training certificate. EPA has developed training
       courses for lead-based paint professionals. Ask if the
       training received by a contractor was based on EPA
       course materials.

LJ     Check the references  of  the last three lead
       inspections  or risk assessments performed by the

LJ     Ask what kinds of information will be included in the
       final inspection or risk assessment report that will be
       prepared for you. An inspection report should
       identify the  lead content of the painted surfaces in
       your home. A risk assessment will provide you with
       information  about the lead content of deteriorated
       painted surfaces, and also should tell you whether
       lead is present in dust and soil around your home. It
       should also present options for reducing the hazard.
 To obtain information on how a lead inspection
   or risk assessment is conducted or a list of
    states with lead certification or licensing
            programs, contact:
     the National Lead Information Center

  For the hearing impaired, call, TDD 1-800-
    526-5456. (FAX: 202-659-1192, Internet:
                                                   November, 1996
                                     United States
                                     Environmental Protection
                                                  Prevention, Pesticides
                                                  and Toxic Substances
You  may also contact the EPA regional office
closest to your area for additional information on
state contractor certification & licensing programs:
Region 1
Boston, MA

Region 4
Atlanta, GA

Region 7
Kansas City, KS
Region 2
Edison, NJ

Region 5
Chicago, IL

Region 8
Denver, CO

Region 10
Seattle, WA
Region 3
Philadelphia, PA

Region 6
Dallas, TX

Region 9
San Francisco, CA
      Finding  a
 Qualified  Lead
Professional  for
     Your Home

   Hiring a  Lead Professional

   The purpose of this pamphlet is to help you find a lead
   professional who can test your home for lead-based paint
and tell  you whether the paint poses a hazard to you or your
family. It also will provide you with some background on the
qualifications to look for in a lead professional.

  Over 80% of all housing in  the U.S. built  before 1978
contains some lead-based paint on the interior or exterior. If
managed properly, lead-based paint that is in good condition
is usually  not a hazard. If allowed to deteriorate, however,
lead from  the paint or lead  dust can create serious health
hazards. Similarly, without proper precautions, renovations of
surfaces with lead-based  paint release lead dust.

  If you are  buying a home or renting an apartment built
before  1978 you  should receive a pamphlet  containing
general information on  lead-based paint  hazards.  This
information is being made  available under a new federal
program that started in 1996. The goals of this program are
to help you reduce the hazards of lead-based  paint in your
home and to  prevent small children from being poisoned by
lead from paint.

 If you want to find out if your house contains lead-based
paint or a lead hazard, you may want  to hire someone to
inspect your home for lead paint and to evaluate the  paint for
any hazards.
  Q. What wil I I learn if I hire a  lead
A. A certified lead professional offers two services: 1) an
inspection,  or  2)  a  risk assessment.  Some  lead
professionals may be certified or licensed to conduct both.
A paint  inspection will tell you the lead content of every
painted surface in your home. However, an inspection won't
tell you whether the paint poses a hazard or how you should
deal with it.
  A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of
serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust).
It also  tells you what options are  available for addressing
these hazards.
 Q. Are lead professionals required to
 be certified or licensed?
A. Several states have developed certification or licensing
programs for individuals who identify and assess lead-based
paint for hazards. Information on obtaining a list of state-
certified lead-based paint inspectors, risk assessors, and
contractors is provided on the back of this brochure.

 EPA also is working with these and other states to establish
a national training and certification program for lead-based
paint professionals. Under this program, all lead-based paint
inspectors, risk assessors and contractors must be trained
and certified starting in 1999.
 Q. What if my state doesn't have a
 certification or licensing program?
A. If your state doesn't have a certification or licensing
program yet, and you need to locate a lead professional, here
are some suggestions:

       Hire a contractor who has been certified or licensed
         in a state that does have a program.

       If you can't find a contractor who's been certified
         or licensed by another state, hire a contractor who
         has been trained to conduct  lead-based paint
         inspections or risk assessments. Look for workers
         whose  training  was  based  on  course work
         developed by EPA or approved by your state.

       Keep in mind that in addition to states, some cities
         and counties may require you to use certified or
         licensed contractors to conduct lead work. If you
         are  required  to  use  a certified  or licensed
        professional  and your  state  doesn't  have a
        program, you will need to work with county or local
        officials to locate a professional who meets their

  Q. Is there a difference between a
  certified  or  licensed contractor and
  a contractor who is only trained?

A. Yes, there is  a difference. To obtain a  certification or
license,  most  states  require applicants to  meet three
standards. One standard requires an applicant to possess
certain experience and/or skills. Second, an applicant is
required to be trained to conduct specific lead-related tasks.
The training an applicant receives typically must be approved
by the state or an organization recognized by the state. The
third and final means to ensure the competency of  an
applicant is  a certification exam.

  Individuals who  have been trained, but who are uncertified
might not possess work experience relevant to conducting
lead-based  paint activities.  Nor have  they  passed  an
examination to test their proficiency.  For that reason, it is
especially important to check the references and credentials
of uncertified contractors.
 Q. What if the lead paint in my home
 poses a hazard?
A. You may have a  range of options for addressing lead
hazards in your home.  A risk assessment  report  should
contain recommendations on how to control lead-based paint
hazards safely. If you have been advised to remove or control
lead paint, use the same advice provided in this pamphlet
when looking for a lead abatement contractor.