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Oct 25
Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: MA Lead Law

​One of the most common ways to get lead poisoning is from paint that contains lead. Lead paint was used in most houses that were built before 1978. However, the MA Lead Law protects a child's right to a lead-safe home. It requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under 6 live. Landlords cannot reject you or evict you because of lead, and homeowners are required to remove or cover lead paint hazards in homes where a child under the age of 6 lives.

As of December 1, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Public Health Council modified the Massachusetts Lead Law to redefine what is considered lead poisoning and how to perform lead inspections and abatement.

What changes should you be aware of?

  • Lead poisoning is now defined as 10 micrograms per dL in the blood or more
  • If a child has a blood lead level of 5-9 micrograms per deciliter, they have a blood lead level "of concern"
  • Parents need to provide proof that their child has been screened for lead poisoning before they can start daycare and pre-K programs

Are you having work done in your home? Because of the changes to the MA Lead law, contractors and renovators should know that:

  • If they want to use chemical strippers, they will need TWO inspections
  • Surfaces considered "accessible mouthable" now include window sills, hand rails, and railing caps only.
  • You no longer have to abate outside corners of walls, window and door casings, chair rails, balusters, and latticework
  • Full abatement is now required for "friction surfaces," which includes things like doors, door jambs, and treads. You cannot encapsulate these surfaces. Instead, the hazard must be removed.
  • The lead level that is considered dangerous decreased from 600 ppm to 90 ppm

Are you doing work in your home by yourself?

  • Make sure you have the right training and certifications. If you do not have the right training or certification, you may unknowingly expose yourself or your loved ones to lead hazards.
  • The Boston Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program offers moderate risk deleading training for anyone interested in removing lead hazards themselves. For more information, call 617-534-5965.

To learn more about lead poisoning or request a lead inspection, call the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 617-534-5965.


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