Lead Hazard Program

Lead is a toxic metal once used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Although lead-based paint was banned for use in residential structures in 1978, deterioration of old buildings, remodeling and renovation of older houses, and lead in dust and soil result in a continuing health threat — especially for young children. TDEC's Toxic Substances Program (TSP) administers the following programs to reduce the risk of lead exposure:

Lead-Based Paint Certification Program:  TSP outlines procedures and requirements for accreditation of training programs, certification of professionals, and work practice standards for conducting lead-based paint abatement activities.

Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) – Federal Program:  Common renovation activities can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. Beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

          Click here to view urgent flood-related information from EPA pertaining to the Federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Regulation in Tennessee.

          Click here to learn more about the Federal EPA Program for Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requirements that are now in effect.

          Click here for a link to EPA-Accredited Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP) Training Providers.

Lead Hazard Reduction and Abatement Projects: TSP monitors the compliance of contractors and workers conducting lead abatement projects in target residential dwellings and child occupied facilities built prior to 1978.  To be certified in Tennessee in one of the seven lead-based paint disciplines, individuals must meet specific experience and education criteria, take the appropriate for training course, and pass the Tennessee State certification exam.  The purpose is to ensure that individuals are properly trained and use proper safe work practice standards.

Elevated Blood-Lead Levels (EBLL) Investigations: TSP collaborates with the Tennessee Department of Health to identify the source of lead exposure for children with elevated blood-lead levels. As part of the EBLL risk assessment report, options are outlined as to actions families can take to reduce the child’s risk of lead exposure. Click here for more information on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention from the Tennessee Department of Health‘s website.

Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) – State of Tennessee Program: When effective, the State of Tennessee RRP program will apply to paid renovation activities in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities where more than 6-square feet of lead-based paint on the interior or more than 20-square feet on the exterior are disturbed. Firms will be required to be certified by the state as an RRP firm and each must have a state certified ‘Renovator’ that has completed an 8-hour state accredited lead-safe work practices course. After completing regulated RRP activities, units must be properly cleaned to remove lead hazards and pass clearance testing and/or screening.

Read the Healthy Homes Highlights newsletter to learn more about home health and safety hazards to empower families to create the healthiest homes possible! TSP helped sponsor this newsletter as part of the TN Healthy Home Partnership.

Rules and Regulations

Click here to access the amended state lead-based paint Rule on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website; this includes the new federal requirements for renovation, repair and painting (RRP).

Rule Chapter 1200-1-18 Lead-Based Paint Abatement, effective September 26, 2000, implements Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) Section 68-131-401 et seq., Part 4-Tennessee Lead-Based Paint Abatement Certification Act of 1997.  The State of Tennessee Lead Hazard Program became an EPA authorized program on January 17, 2001.

The Rule outlines procedures and requirements for accreditation of training programs, certification of professionals, and work practice standards for conducting lead-based paint abatement activities. The purpose is to ensure that individuals are properly trained and certified to conduct lead-based paint (LBP) activities in target housing and child-occupied facilities, using reliable, effective and safe work practice standards. Training programs are accredited to ensure that proper training is provided to LBP professionals regarding their being knowledgeable of and adhering to required standards. The regulations establish fees for testing, certification, accreditation, etc. and penalties for non-compliance. A 15-day Notification to the State (see the Notification of Lead-Based Paint Activity) is required prior to the commencement of risk assessments, inspections, clearances, and abatement projects (view risk assessment/inspection/clearance 15-day waiver statement). In addition, Tennessee's Lead-Based Paint Abatement Rule requires the distribution of Pre-Renovation Education prior to renovations in target housing and child-occupied facilities. The 'Renovate Right' brochure is the current document used to fulfill Pre-Renovation Education requirements (Spanish version also available). 

For additional information about the Commissioner’s Exam or about how to become a certified LBP firm or professional in Tennessee, call toll free: 1-888-771-LEAD.

NOTICE! A Tennessee contractor's license is required BEFORE bidding or offering a price! Reciprocal agreements do NOT allow using another state's license. (Note: Must bid/contract in exact name as licensed!)