Search the forums
I recently reproduced a new porch system on a circa 1890 brick home. All new material. This house is located on Main St. in a small town in Maryland. Several weeks after the porch project had been completed the State started a Main St. Revitalization project. Phase one of the road project entailed the milling of 14" of the built up road surface. When this milling was done, black dust caused by the process layered the entire facade of all buildings and associated outdoor items. I was made aware of this when the client that I built the porch for contacted me for advise as to how she should go about cleaning the dust from fresh white paint ( less than 30 days). I stopped by to have a look and was really concerned by the amount of dirt that the road milling had created. When I touched it with my finger rather than brush off, it smudged with a bit of a sheen. Looked a little like lead, so I took out my lead test kit and tested 6 locations on the brand new work. All positive for lead content. Realizing that false positives do exist, I went to the local building supply and purchased a new , different type of test. All tests from this kit were lead positive as well. I walked up and down Main St. to find that every surface tested had lead content.
Turns out that the road milling process churned up dirt and dust that contained microfine lead that had accumulated over the years that gasoline had lead in it. Lead was removed from gasoline at about the same time that it was removed from paint production. With asphalt road overlays the emissions dust became encapsulated and not a problem. Currently, the standard for roadway revitalization is the mill and replace technique. When I questioned the EPA, and the Maryland Highway Administration for direction as to what advise I should give to my client, the EPA told me that there are no laws that apply to road milling and therefore, no means of enforcement. The State of Maryland had a spokesperson contact me to inform me that they do not currently, and have never added lead to their asphalt mixes. Duh... They would not recommend a cleaning technique.
Whats a responsible contractor to do??