This is a brief Synopsis of the
Massachusetts Lead Laws:setts
Lead poisoning is a
serious disease caused by swallowing lead or breathing lead dust. It can damage
the brain, kidneys, and nervous system of young children. Low levels can cause
learning and behavioral problems. Very high levels can cause retardation,
convulsions, and coma.
are most often poisoned by lead paint in older homes. The most common sources of
lead poisoning are lead dust and lead chips from lead painted areas. Lead dust
can come from opening and closing windows, normal wear and tear of painted
areas, and repairing areas with lead paint. Lead dust settles to the floor and
gets on children's hands and toys. It enters their bodies when they put their
hands or toys into their mouths. They can also ingest lead by eating, chewing,
or sucking on things with lead paint such as windowsills, railings, or other
The Massachusetts Lead Law requires the removal
or covering, or interim control, of lead hazards in homes built before 1978
where any children under the age of 6 live. Lead paint hazards include loose
lead paint and lead paint on windows and other surfaces accessible to children.
Owners are responsible for complying with the law. This includes owners of
rental property as well as owners living in their own single family homes.
How does an owner comply with the lead law?
There are two ways:
The first option is:
Have all lead hazards removed or covered.
The owner must first hire a licensed lead inspector who will test the home for
lead and record all lead hazards.
- Under Massachusetts law, high-risk de-leading must be done by a licensed
- Some low-risk de-leading can be done by the
homeowner. Anyone planning to do low-risk de-leading must first have an
inspection and meet the training requirements. Call (800) 532-9571 to get
more information on the training, as well as information on funding
available to pay for de-leading.
After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Full
The second option is:
Have only urgent lead hazards corrected while
controlling remaining hazards. This
temporary method is called interim control. The owner must first hire a licensed
risk assessor who will explain what work needs to be done for interim control.
After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Interim Control.
Owners then have up to two years before they must have the remaining lead
hazards removed or covered and receive a Letter of Full Compliance.
Important - Massachusetts Property Owners - NOTE:
A rental property owner can be held legally
responsible for a lead poisoned child if he/she is lead poisoned by lead hazards
where the child lives. An owner cannot avoid liability by asking tenants to sign
an agreement that they accept the presence of lead paint. Complying with the
Lead Law is the best protection an owner has from liability.
An owner cannot evict or refuse to rent to a
family with children under six if there is lead paint in the home.
Discrimination is against the law and carries penalties.