If your firm works on homes, businesses, schools, or day care centers built pre-1978, you must be EPA Lead-Safe Certified.

As a contractor, you play a critical role in helping to prevent lead exposure.  Ordinary renovation and maintenance activities can create toxic lead dust that can harm your customers, workers, and even yourself.  By following lead-safe work practices, you can prevent lead hazards.

About the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule

The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule is a federal regulatory program affecting anyone who disrupts painted surfaces in pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities. Beginning in April 2010, Iowa regulations require at least one certified lead-safe renovator per renovation be present and trained in the use of specific lead-safe work practices. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) carries out these rules in Iowa.

To become an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Contractor, a firm must:

  • Apply for initial firm certification.
  • Learn the required steps to contain the work area, minimize dust and thoroughly clean up every day.
  • Submit an application to recertify your firm every three years.
  • Recertify your renovators every three years by attending a one-day refresher class.

Who must be EPA Lead-Safe Certified?

Any contractor, including renovators, electricians, HVAC specialists, plumbers, painters and maintenance staff, who disrupts more than six square feet of lead paint in pre-1978 homes, businesses, schools, day care centers and other places where children spend time must be EPA Lead-Safe Certified. 

Learn more about the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Program for Contractors here.

Why become EPA Lead-Safe Certified?

  1. Avoid risk of government fines and civil liability
    1. Without certification and by not following approved practices, you and your company can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines and put yourself and your company at risk of potential lawsuits.
  2. Protect your workers, yourself and your customers from a health risk
    1. Dust from renovation, repairs and painting can contaminate an entire home and, if inhaled or ingested, can cause irreversible damage to children and adults.
  3. Gain competitive advantage
    • Certification makes you stand out from others and positions you as a professional contractor consumers can trust. Using your company’s certification in your marketing materials may help attract business.
    • Consumers will look for the certification before hiring contractors and may be more accepting of additional costs and time associated with doing the job safely.
    • Upon certification of your firm, your company will be listed as a Lead-Safe Certified Contractor on the EPA website, giving your firm the potential for new customers.


Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

EPA Lead



EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Program

Lead RRP vs. Lead Abatement


Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repairing and Painting October 2011

Contractors Lead Safety during Renovations (PDF)

Click on the links below for additional information.