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HOME > WHAT WE DO BY TOPIC > HEALTHY HOMES AND ENVIRONMENT > LEAD POISONING PREVENTION

LEAD POISONING PREVENTION

Almost 90% of Boston's housing was built before 1978 and often contains lead-based paint and lead service lines.

When this paint is disturbed or removed, it can cause lead poisoning. Lead service lines in contact with water can lead to exposure through drinking water. Lead poisoning 
is a serious but preventable disease that affects the development of a child, and can cause speech, hearing, learning, and behavior problems.

If left untreated, lead poisoning can permanently damage a child's brain, kidneys, blood, and nervous system. Most of the time, a lead-poisoned child has no symptoms; a blood test is the only way to determine the level of lead in the body.

You can learn more about lead here and find additional resources from the Health Commission below.

WHERE TO GET TESTED FOR LEAD EXPOSURE
Contact your primary care provider and ask for a blood test to see if you or your child has been exposed to lead.

RENOVATE SAFELY VIDEOS
The EPA has released Lead Safe work practices for remodeling, renovation, and painting.

In order to educate contractors, families, and childcare providers about these new regulations, you can watch our animated instructional videos.

Contractor: English or Spanish
Family and childcare provider: English or Spanish

To find a firm near you that’s certified in lead safe work practices, click here.

Click here  for a contractor's pre-renovation form.

RENOVATION TRAINING
The EPA regulations require at least one contractor working in a pre-1978 residential building or child-care facility to be certified in lead-safe work practices.

Contractors can attend one of our training sessions to learn how to properly contain lead while renovating.

For additional information on where to find an EPA-accredited trainer in your area, click here.

For property owners that wish to learn about de-leading their properties, we have a Moderate Risk De-leading Training. Here is the Schedule  and Application.

For questions about certification, call MA DOS Environmental Engineers at (617) 969-7177

RENOVATION MATERIALS FOR DO-IT-YOURSELFERS
The Environmental Protection Agency offers helpful tips for do-it-yourselfers here.

COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT UNIT

BPHC's Community Assessment Unit provides comprehensive case management services to families with children who are less than six years of age and who have been screened for lead poisoning in accordance with the Massachusetts Lead Law. Public Health Advocates provides:

  • Home assessments
  • Educational home visits
  • Nutritional assessments
  • Follow-up visits
  • Lead hazard reductions to temporary stabilize lead paint hazards
  • Social work services
  • Healthy homes referrals

For families with children that have been lead poisoned we provide:

  • Case management
  • Medical follow-ups
  • Surveillance
  • Intervention
  • Chelation treatment (removing lead from the body)

These services are offered through the Pediatric Lead Clinic in Boston Medical Center.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOLLOW-UP UNIT
BPHC's Environmental Follow-Up Unit provides environmental investigations for families with children who have elevated blood lead levels or who are lead poisoned.

The unit also investigations for parents and property owners who requests lead paint inspection.

You can download and complete the Parent Request Form

When lead paint violations are found, our licensed constable writes and serve Orders to Correct Violations. If there are no violations found a Letter of Compliance is issued.

Property owners who fail to correct violations found in a timely fashion are referred to prosecution in the Boston Municipal Housing Court, and the case followed by our legal counsel’s office.

The case is adjudicated in Boston Municipal Court, Housing Division until lead compliance is met.

The environmental follow-up unit also provides free moderate risk de-leading training for property owners or their agents to significantly reduce the overall costs of eliminating lead in their residences.

Please call (617) 534-5965 for information on the Moderate Risk De-leading Training course and for an application.

HEALTH EDUCATION OUTREACH

Health Education outreach and presentations are provided to:

  • High-risk neighborhoods with elevated levels of lead in children's blood
  • Community health centers
  • Neighborhood advocacy groups
  • Women and infant organizations
  • Healthy head start organizations
  • Daycare centers
  • Child care organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Schools

You can request a presentation by writing us at leadpoisoning@bphc.org

THE MASSACHUSETTS LEAD LAW

The Massachusetts Lead Law requires that any home built before 1978 where a child under the age of six lives must be made lead safe by removing or covering any lead paint hazards.

Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint and lead paint on windows and other surfaces accessible to children. Homeowners are responsible for complying with the law. If a child is poisoned by lead hazards in their primary residence, the homeowner will be held responsible.

Homeowners cannot evict or refuse to rent to anyone because of lead paint in their dwelling unit.

Organizations such as the Boston Fair Housing Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination can assist you if you believe you have been discriminated against.

For more information on the Massachusetts de-leading law and childhood lead poisoning prevention, contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-800-532-9571.

THE 2010 EPA LEGISLATION

New federal regulations, effective April 22, 2010, require “lead safe” work practices for remodeling, renovation, and painting activities.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will require that at least one contractor (per job) working on a pre-1978 residential building or child-care facility take an eight-hour certification class on “lead-safe” work practices.

The certification must be renewed every five years by completing a four-hour refresher course. Businesses that renovate, remodel, and paint must also be certified by the USEPA or after July 9, 2010 by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
Tenants Rights and Responsibilities
Lead Law
Financial Assistance
Soil Safety Guidelines for Commercial Urban Farming
Commercial Urban Farming Soil Safety Compliance Certificate Application


For more information call the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5966

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org