use of a vacuum by painting contractor

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Hello everyone:
We're having our house painted and we have been very satisfied with this contractor from the get-go...He came recommended to us through friends & we saw his work first-hand on their large, new house (ours is not a McMansion and is an older home). The contractor has been everything we could have hoped for, excellent quality work (so far), on time every day, great communcations, price, etc. Now along comes our otherwise-great neighbor next door and when the topic of our house being painted came up, he mentioned that the contractor is not using a vacuum...He says the one he and another neighbor used had a vacuum and that it's required by the town. I figure he's right, I had heard of this being an ordinance in some towns, it just didn't occur to me that it might be one in mine! So he goes on about how my beloved contractor can get summoned, fined, and even disallowed from working again in the town if he gets caught.....and that its important to use one because of health & environmental concerns. I replied that perhaps in the case of an entire house being sanded before painting, then yes, especially if the house has very old paint on it, which increases the odds that it would have lead in it. I told him that neither of those fits my case and that he shouldn't worry.
Later I got to thinking how ridiculous the comment was...I mean there are worse environmental hazards than a little bit of paint particles being strewn in the air (house only partly sanded). Maybe he just wanted to inform me, but still it took some of the joy out of the fact we were getting a spanking new paint job on the house...
The supposed environmental concern I think is overblown...driving an SUV, for example, probably has an infinitely greater environmental footprint than ground up latex resin, solvent, and colorant. Besides, not every contractor can likely afford an extra piece of equipment like those vacuums. Neighbor probably thought we were getting it done on the cheap, but price, while fair, was not significantly less than all the other proposals we priced.
Was the neighbor making a valid point on the importance of using these particulate-vacuums when sanding or is he perhaps just was a bit envious of how nice the house is looking? :-)
Do you think it should be left up to the discretion of the contractor to use one? And if so, would an increase in final cost to the customer be justified because of being forced by law to buy the vacuum?
Best Regards,
Chris
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clipped

Gee .. this is a new one. Your town probably has a website listing city codes. I would frame the question to the contractur, being sure to mention the source. If it is a real requirement, that should prompt the contractor to comply. Perhaps it is only required for lead paint, but that suggests you must test first.
If you sand lead paint, and it is a nice warm day with windows open, you can really create an indoor lead problem from the residue or from breathing dust outdoors.
We had a major disaster when our condo was pressure washed, because the previous paint job was so awful. Tons of peeling paint, probably with lead in older layers, that we knew would come off, so hubby and I devised a way to catch it and dispose of it. One allowable way of disposing, at the time, was to put it in the dumpster .. trash in dumpsters is incinerated, so I don't know what that saves the environment. Laws don't always make sense :o) Most of the boaters I know dump expended batteries in the ocean, along with their soda cans and plastic bags.
We could just as easily let the paint lay on the ground, let it dry, and vaccum it up, but it would have been all over the landscaping.
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you must have some pretty irresponsible boat owner friends. boat owners I know would never dump a battery in the water.
oh well. let the grandkids worry about it. that seems to be the norm nowadays.
clipped

Gee .. this is a new one. Your town probably has a website listing city codes. I would frame the question to the contractur, being sure to mention the source. If it is a real requirement, that should prompt the contractor to comply. Perhaps it is only required for lead paint, but that suggests you must test first.
If you sand lead paint, and it is a nice warm day with windows open, you can really create an indoor lead problem from the residue or from breathing dust outdoors.
We had a major disaster when our condo was pressure washed, because the previous paint job was so awful. Tons of peeling paint, probably with lead in older layers, that we knew would come off, so hubby and I devised a way to catch it and dispose of it. One allowable way of disposing, at the time, was to put it in the dumpster .. trash in dumpsters is incinerated, so I don't know what that saves the environment. Laws don't always make sense :o) Most of the boaters I know dump expended batteries in the ocean, along with their soda cans and plastic bags.
We could just as easily let the paint lay on the ground, let it dry, and vaccum it up, but it would have been all over the landscaping.
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Huge piles of dead batteries have been found around navigation lights where the Coast Guard dumped them when changing batteries.
--
Free men own guns - www.geocities/CapitolHill/5357/

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Nick Hull wrote:

Mebbe it is a good fit with what else is going on in the environment. By the time the icebergs melt, we will be vacationing in Greenland. Those of us unfortunate enough to stay in Florida will have grandkids growing flippers because of the genetic damage from whatever it is we are screwing up reptiles and amphibians with. But it might be a good deal - think I'll buy some real estate up there while the price is low :o)
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Since Greenland was green when discovered I doubt it will be vacationland soon.
--
Free men own guns - www.geocities/CapitolHill/5357/

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Nick Hull wrote:

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Trollllllin for bs in my neck of the USA
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I'm a boat owner (>25 years in many shapes & sizes), and know many, many others.
The abhorrent idea of dumping a battery (or anything else for that matter) at sea is most definitely not one even remotely condoned (or even crossing the mind of) by me, or anyone I could ever mention.
A single plastic bag can kill several fish/mammals before it breaks down. You might as well toss dynamite overboard....
Is that the kind of friends you have Norminn?????

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Norminn wrote:

Many, but not all, condo were built after 1978. Anything after then doesn't need lead control because it is assumed to be lead-free.
Lead paint from residential projects, such as yours, can safely and legally be disposed of in regular trash. I think the only caveat is that it is supposed to be double-bagged. It is then for the garbage company to control their emissions. What you did was correct.
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Thanks to Norminn, Pat, & everyone who responded for your helpful replies.
I don't think we need to test our house (single-family, built in early 60s), because I contacted the previous owner last night after my neighbor's comment and asked him about past paintings of the house before we bought. He said that since 1978 (the year lead in paint was banned under federal law) the house had been painted about 5 times, and at least once he could recall it was completely sanded down. Which means there would remain very little lead-based paint left on the surface of the wood -- if indeed there was any ever at all....And I also agree that local ordinances can be just ridiculous.....I mean if you're not going to strictly enforce them, why bother? ...a lot of it strikes me as politicking, local posturing by city councils pressured by homeowners hysterical about one thing or another.....What I wish they'd do something about is the constant pesticide-spraying that almost all of my neighbors like to do, just for the sake of the lawn. Oh, but to the upscales, the green lawn is a sacred item of americana...politically untouchable....well, we have a very young child, a toddler and we'd like to have more one day, and you better believe it I am concerned about those trucks coming by and spraying all those pesticides and herbicides....why can't they pass an ordinance requiring advance notice to all neighbors when the trucks are going to come by and spray?? I'd make sure the kids are inside. To me, this is 100x worse than small amounts of butyl acrylate (latex resin) and colorant particulates getting airborne.
I'm not sure I would not use a contractor just because he didn't use a vacuum as part of his painting service, especially if the contractor is otherwise really good. That's the case with this one, he is without question an excellent painter himself and his crew is great. They are attentive to our questions and really goes out of his way to inform us of the progress of the painting. We have been delighted so far with how things are turning out. They just started the main body of the house today, after finishing the trim & mouldings yesterday. It's really starting to look good. I haven't seen hare nor hide of our neighbor so far today....
Chris
Pat wrote:

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rank beginner wrote:

Lead is a proven hazard. Laws promoting the responsible removal of this hazard seem pretty reasonable to me, and I guess the onus must be on you as the home-owner, either personally or through your contractor, to ensure that you're not polluting the neighborhood in an effort to improve your home's appearance. As far as your neighbours spraying herbicide on their lawn to improve their home's appearance, there's a great deal of panic over this issue, despite the fact that weed control is predominantly achieved with 24-D, a synthesized plant hormone in use for 60 years. There is a list of double-blind studies on this stuff as long as my arm, and none show any harm to humans under remotely normal conditions. If I lived in your neighborhood and was out walking with my 3-year old daughter, I'd be far more concerned about her contact with your lead particles than the bi-monthly weed treatment of your other neighbours, especially considering that every lawn treatment company I know of posts signs for at least 24 hours after spraying to inform people of the recent treatments.
Good luck with your paint job, hope it turns out well.
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Maurice:
Go back and read my last post again. Lead was banned from paint in 1978. You obviously have a problem with reading comprehension. There is NO lead-based paint present in any way, shape, or form on my home.
And one more thing, if the pesticides and herbicides are so safe, why do they put signs on the lawns?? And why is Monsanto, the maker of Round-Up, constantly on the receiving end of calls by environmental organizations for suspension of its application in human- and animal-inhabited areas?? Why is Monsanto and other pesticide & herbicides manufacturers currently on the watch list for their implication in the destruction of amphibians? The University of Pittsburgh has produced scientific studies pointing to the unequivocal destructive role that these herbicedes play in environmental contamination: http://www.pitt.edu/~relyea/Roundup.html
In addition, spraying trucks go around with MUCH more frequency than neighbors' house sanding and painting, so your argument falls apart there as well.
Please keep your facts straight, your argument tight, and improve your reading comprehension.
Best Regards,
Chris
maurice wrote:

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Here's another source at U. Pitt that shows Round-Up is "extrmely lethal" to animal life by herbicides:
http://www.umc.pitt.edu/rr/2005summer/herbicide.html
You really don't want to put yourself in the position of having to defend the safety of herbicides and pesticides, trust me.
But thanks for wishing me well on our paint job.
Best Regards,
Chris
rank beginner wrote:

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Wow, Chris. Never meant to get into a flame war. And actually, I thought my reading comprehension was pretty good. You wrote that there
was likely "very little" lead left on your house, according to the previous home-owner. Now you write that there is "NO lead-based paint present in any way, shape or form" on your house. I hope you're right.
But since you haven't had it tested, you may want to consider the consequences to you and your neighbors. Or not. Entirely up to you. Insofar as your attack on Monsanto et al., the fact that Monsanto is attacked by environmentalists doesn't make their product toxic to humans, any more than a city ordinance in your town or a comment on a newgroup makes your paint lead-laden. The two University of Pittsburgh
studies you cite, while interesting, deal with the effects on amphibean
life in a pond treated with insecticides and herbicides. Clearly, if you have some weed-eating frogs, and you kill the weeds, the frogs will
go hungry. Which, as I've said, is interesting, but as my daughter is not a frog, and her menu is unaffected by my lush lawn, I suppose I'm not that concerned about it. Sad for the frogs, mind you.
As for the weeding trucks and their frequent visits, I don't see how that's relevant. They can visit daily if their wares are not toxic to humans, and my health will be unaffected. They post signs as a courtesy to those who care one way or another. It doesn't seem fair to
now take their courtesy as proof that what they distribute is toxic in the absence of any evidence that's the case. However, a single exposure to a known toxic substance doesn't seem as benevolent, and I hope you've been as courteous with posting signs about this known danger as the fertilizer companies have been with their "tested-as-safe" product.
Incidentally, if you'd care to read more about the herbicide we're discussing, here are some studies for you. (yep, I have google too.)
http://www.24d.org/scientific.htm
By the way, I really did mean good luck with the paint job. I hope it looks great.
Maurice
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Wow, Chris. Never meant to get into a flame war. And actually, I thought my reading comprehension was pretty good. You wrote that there was likely "very little" lead left on your house, according to the previous home-owner. Now you write that there is "NO lead-based paint present in any way, shape or form" on your house. I hope you're right. But since you haven't had it tested, you may want to consider the consequences to you and your neighbors. Or not. Entirely up to you.
Insofar as your attack on Monsanto et al., the fact that Monsanto is attacked by environmentalists doesn't make their product toxic to humans, any more than a city ordinance in your town or a comment on a newgroup makes your paint lead-laden. The two University of Pittsburgh studies you cite, while interesting, deal with the effects on amphibean life in a pond treated with insecticides and herbicides. Clearly, if you have some frog-eating weeds, and you kill the weeds, the frogs will go hungry. Which, as I've said, is interesting, but as my daughter is not a frog, and her menu is unaffected by my lush lawn, I suppose I'm not that concerned about it. Sad for the frogs, mind you.
As for the weeding trucks and their frequent visits, I don't see how that's relevant. They can visit daily if their wares are not toxic to humans, and my health will be unaffected. They post signs as a courtesy to those who care one way or another. It doesn't seem fair to now take their courtesy as proof that what they distribute is toxic in the absence of any evidence that's the case. However, a single exposure to a known toxic substance doesn't seem as benevolent, and I hope you've been as courteous with posting signs about this known danger as the fertilizer companies have been with their "tested-as-safe" product.
Incidentally, if you'd care to read more about the herbicide we're discussing, here are some studies for you. (yep, I have google too.)
http://www.24d.org/scientific.htm
By the way, I really did mean good luck with the paint job. I hope it looks great.
Maurice
rank beginner wrote:

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rank beginner wrote:

Lawyers + emotionally-vulnerable juries = big bucks

Because environmental organizations are, in the main, in it for the money. "A mass movement can exist without a god, but it will always fail without a devil." (Eric Hoffer) Monsanto/Roundup is the devil.

Facts don't matter in court. Consider: silicone breast implants are still outlawed and Dow Corning went into bankruptcy despite the TOTAL ABSENCE of any peer-reviewed study showing ANY danger.
Did you know that just last week the World Health Organization approved the use of DDT? After thirty-four years of being banned and the unnecessary deaths of literally hundreds of millions of people from malaria, somebody finally decided that, gee, since there has been only ONE fatality attributed to DDT (the guy fell in a vat), maybe we were too hasty in banning it?
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rank beginner wrote:

What you are saying makes my logic itch :o) Built in early 60's, repainted 5 times .. every 8 years, then, roughly? At least once it was completely sanded down .. to the bare wood? Seems very doubtful, as painting every 8 years would have probably kept it in good shape and there would be little reason to sand down to bare wood. Then, it seems, it is likely to have three coats of lead paint on it. Leads me to believe your neighbor has some legitimate concerns, not to mention the crew that is doing the sanding. But, maybe, he is sanding only into the newer paint? A test would be quite simple, and a lot simpler than enforcement action if the neighbor is correct.
As to the pesticide problem, a great deal of it is due to improper use, in spite of very clear labeling... folks just don't do what they are supposed to do. Your issue is now the responsibility of the contractor and former owner?
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Norminn wrote:

I tend to agree that it seems unlikely that the house was painted every 8 years on average, esp. if it was taken to bare wood once. I bet the paint on my house is over 20 years old.
But a few notes. First, if it was every 8 years, you'd wonder why. Does it have some sort of moisture problem? Second, the previous post from Norminn said it is likely to have 3 coats of lbp. Gee, there's not way of knowing for sure. It might have, or it might not. Could be no lead was ever in the place or it could be multiple coats of lead. Only testing will tell. As a guess, if it needed 8 coats, not had lead in it. That stuff made really good paint. Finally, if it has lead on the walls, that's okay as long as it stays there. It isn't a problem until you disturb it. It's a good rule to let sleeping lead stay asleep.
Good luck with it, but you should probably have the house tested.
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Pat wrote:

BTW, lead is particular important because you have a little kid.
Put a penny in your mouth and it tastes like copper. Put a nickel or a quarter in your mouth and it tastes different. Metals have taste. Lead is reputed to be sweet. That's why kids eat it. So be careful. This isn't a problem that is just in cities. This is anywhere where lead and kids meet.
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