Asbestos and Lead Information for Child Care Providers and Schools

Asbestos and lead pose health risks, and they may be found in buildings and other structures. Because of this, the Health Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have specific requirements for the maintenance, renovation and demolition of buildings and other structures.

Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are only dangerous when they are disturbed or handled incorrectly. If ACMs are not handled properly, asbestos particles can be breathed in. Even a small amount of ACM can cause health effects.  

Lead-based paint becomes a hazard when it is disturbed. This can be from chipping and peeling paint, when painted surfaces rub together, or when the paint is not properly sanded, scraped or burned. If lead-based paint is not handled properly, lead dust can be breathed in or swallowed by workers and by people, especially children, who use the building or other structure.

Learn more about the hazards and health effects of lead and asbestos

What do child care providers or preschools need to know about Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs)?

ASBESTOS

EMPs do not apply to asbestos.

LEAD

The Vermont Lead Law requires owners of child care facilities built before 1978 to do EMPs (see V.S.A. Title 18, Chapter 38, §1751) to help prevent lead poisoning in children. EMPs are relatively inexpensive maintenance activities, which include inspecting the property for chipping and peeling paint.

EMPs must be performed by an EMP-certified person. You must attend a Health Department approved EMP class to become certified. It is recommended that all child care owners or managers become EMP certified. Classes are generally available at no cost at various locations throughout Vermont on a continual basis. Find an EMP training class

If you are not EMP-certified, consider hiring a contractor who is both EMP and RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) certified or an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Search for a contractor or Lead-Safe Firm on the EPA website and confirm that they are EMP-certified. Call contractors directly for details about services and rates. If you have questions, call the Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov.

What does my school need to know about asbestos and lead during renovation or demolition projects?
Where can I find contractors that handle asbestos or lead?
What are safe work practices for asbestos and lead?

ASBESTOS

Under Vermont law, only licensed contractors are allowed to perform asbestos abatement activities and must follow the regulations regarding the handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials.

Unsafe handling of asbestos-containing materials often leads to the need for asbestos cleanup by a Vermont-licensed asbestos contractor.

LEAD

Under Vermont law, contractors are required to use lead-safe work practices.

Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create lead hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Under Vermont law, if lead hazards are created in any building or structure, you will be responsible for the cleanup that will require you to hire a Vermont-licensed lead abatement contractor.

How can I report an asbestos-related or lead-related complaint?
How can I test for asbestos or lead hazards?

ASBESTOS

If you want to know whether there are asbestos-containing materials in a home, building, structure or material, hire a Vermont-licensed asbestos inspector to conduct an inspection.

LEAD

Lead-Based Paint

If you want to know whether lead-based paint is on a home, building or other structure, hire a Vermont-certified lead inspector or risk assessor to conduct a lead inspection or risk assessment. A lead inspection determines the presence or absence of lead-based paint on painted or coated surfaces. A risk assessment identifies lead hazards from deteriorated paint, dust and bare soil, and ways to control the lead hazards.

Drinking Water

Test kits for lead in drinking water can be purchased from the Health Department Laboratory. Find out more about testing for lead in drinking water

Where can I learn more about lead hazards and preventing lead poisoning?
What do I need to know about asbestos in schools?

More information

Vermont Regulations for Asbestos Control
Vermont Regulations for Lead Control

Questions?

Asbestos & Lead Regulatory Program
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: 802-863-7220 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free within VT)
Fax: 802-863-7483

AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov