Safest lead-based paint removal method to use?

A paint stripping test in process.
A paint stripping test in process.

When using any of the usual paint removal methods expect a messy, time-consuming process with health and safety threats. These methods include mechanical, heat and chemical means to remove coatings. Mechanical methods (sanding, blasting, hand tools) create a lot of dust. Heat tools make gummy, sticky goo and gives off toxic fumes. Chemical strippers have unhealthy and odorous by-products too, but are manageable with adequate ventilation, protective clothing and training.

So now the negative aspects of mechanical and heat methods make them less favorable, because the chief health concern is about waste containment now. Today’s regulations have forced chemical strippers and their hazards upon us due to the difficulty of containment over uneven surfaces and project time demands. This chief health concern is now tagged with the stiffest fines.

What was once a side note or side bar has taken center stage; lead based paint (LBP), when it comes to removing paint. Use to be all we saw were warnings labels concerning the health and safety hazards, but now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has substantial fines associated with avoiding a certified standard. This governmental rule applies to all residential and child-occupied structures built prior to 1978.

The facts show the likelihood these targeted structures have LBP which makes paint removal more of a challenge. 

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