of lead tend to occur only after old panels have been dismantled , the original lead safely disposed of , and the individual glass pieces cleaned of the putty which had been in contact with the old lead . Even then , safety measures should be maintained until the project is completed .
The Nzilani team cleans lead contaminated cement channels after windows are removed . Photo : Nzilani Glass Conservation
So , what is a layperson to do who wants to do right by their windows and the health of their community of faith ? First , ask lots of questions . They are your windows and you will be dealing with the ramifications of an improperly executed job long after a contractor has moved on . If you have taken the proper steps to work with professionals to protect yourself and your windows , you can breathe easy . Two key steps are recommended :
• Ask contractors about their lead safety plan : They should have a written document of each step undertaken to protect the public and workers for the entire project ( on site and in the studio ), including annual testing of employee ’ s blood lead levels ( BLL ), respirator fit tests , and ongoing training . At the time of writing , the CDC recommends a BLL of 5 µ g / dL or lower for the public .
• Do your research : Requirements for lead work vary from state to state . Visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) site for more information . https :// www . epa . gov / lead AUTHOR NOTE :
Ariana Makau is the president of Nzilani Glass Conservation and holds an MA in Stained Glass Conservation from the Royal College of Art in London . She has over 25 years practical experience and is a Board Member and Health and Safety Chair of the Stained Glass Association of America .