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Toxic Substances Program

The Toxic Substances Program (TSP) works to protect the people of Tennessee from environmental and health hazards caused by three toxic substances:

Lead, Asbestos & Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

State and federal statutes and regulations are regulatory tools that provide the foundation of the programs described below.

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. 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 Web site.

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.

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

Asbestos Program

Asbestos Accreditation Program: Rule Chapter 1200-01-20 Asbestos Accreditation Requirements became effective June 23, 2009 in Tennessee for training providers, training courses, firms and asbestos professionals.

NEW - Click here for searchable database of accredited training providers, firms and asbestos professionals in Tennessee.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA): A federal statute enacted in 1986 that requires local education agencies (LEAs) to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. TSP conducts compliance monitoring inspections at LEAs throughout the state. Click here to find out more information about the federal AHERA program visit and the EPA Health School Environment Program.

PCB Program