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The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog

Real Life Contractor Stories from EPA RRP Trainings

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sun, Oct 10, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

Since January, we have held over 80 EPA RRP training for contractors. I have kept a journal of real life stories from contractors who have personal experiences with lead poisoning. I am going to share some of these real life stories over the coming months. My hope is that you will be able to relate with real life stories from residential contractors dealing with lead poisoning.

Today's post; contractor shares story with RRP class on how he poisoned his kids

We had just completed EPA RRP module one, and a contractor raises his hand to share a story with the class about his personal experience with lead poisoning. He tells the class that he found out at the doctors office, that his children had tested positive for high lead levels in their blood. A visit to his home was scheduled. The officials went through the house and found no evidence of lead. The house was clean. Then they asked him what he did for work and he said remodeling. They asked what he did with his work clothes when he got home. Then they asked to see the laundry area. The washing machine tested positive and had high lead levels. The officials asked if the children's clothing were washed with the contractors work clothes. The answer, "yes the wife cried."

The contractor tells the class he had no idea that his work would lead to lead poisoning for his children. The contractor said he would go home and throw his dirty clothing in with everything else after he showered. His wife washed all the family clothing together. The contractor faced the class and said "if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. I hope you guys never have to go through what I just put my family through"

Many contractors have said throughout the year, that they have been working for years with homes that have lead, and they never poisoned their kids or themselves. One guy said what are the chances that this will happen to me, I'm normal and made it this far?

Of course other contractors in the class chimed in and heckled him, questioning his normal comment. One guy blurts out "maybe all that lead got to your head" 

The instructor chimes in and says maybe the chances for you are low. However, for the contractor who spilled his guts about how he unknowingly poisoned his kids, his percentage is 100%.

Sometimes we say we will believe it when we see it. Or we say when it happens to me then I will do something about it. Unfortunately, when it comes to lead exposure, waiting for it to happen to you, your family, someone you know, your worker or your customer, when it can be prevented, is sad. One contractor found out the hard way,  

mark the coach

Tags: New York, contractors, epa rrp training, massachusetts