New lead paint regulations could cost a lot

There's new rules in place to protect you against the risks of lead paint poisoning. However, those new regulations are costing contractors more.  And of course, that means you'll be shelling out more cash as well.

The law went into effect in April. affecting what contractors have to have on the job and how they do their job. When Jeff Stauffer walks onto a job site, he says it's a lot more work these days. “It takes a lot more time and there's a lot more labor involved,” Stauffer said.

A lot more time and labor since April. That's when new rules were put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. They require contractors like Stauffer, who work on any homes prior to being built in 1978, to invest in things like lead testing kits, plastic sheeting, respirators and protective clothing.

“You have to test any areas you're working on and if it tests for lead then that changes your containment… You have to contain that area,” Stauffer said.

It's all in effort to prevent people from getting lead poisoning.  Poisoning that can lead to nerve disorders, high blood pressure and memory loss. Poisoning that can occur if lead based paint is disturbed from renovations. Stauffer says he understands the need for regulations.  But he's worried how much it might cost.

“A lot of these houses off of 27th street, A street area they could be in trouble because suddenly they can't afford to have work done on their houses and now what do they do?” Stauffer said.

Costs he can't afford and can't afford to pass along to his customers either. “With the economy the way it is now we can't bid higher or we'll lose jobs.”  The ripple effect from this could be pretty big. Depending on how big the job is, if lead is found Stauffer says it could tack on thousands to your bill.