Lead Fact Sheet

Please be aware that Federal Standards are the minimum requirements that are generally accepted. State and local governments may have more stringent standards. It is prudent practice to always check with local authorities to determine if more stringent standards apply to your specific circumstances.

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Lead Programs

All EPA Lead-Based Paint Documents can be found on the EPA Website at:

Title X (Title Ten)

About three-quarters of the nation’s housing stock built before 1978 (64 million homes) contains some lead-based paint. Chips and dust from this paint can create a health hazard. Recent studies indicate that almost one million children have blood-lead levels above safe limits. To protect children from exposure to lead in paint, dust, and soil, Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as Title X. The following topics are covered in Title X.

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EPA Training and Certification Program

TSCA Section 402 directed EPA to develop regulations to establish a national training and certification program for lead-based paint professionals working in residential housing, public and commercial buildings, and steel structures. In August 1996, EPA issued a final rule only for lead-based paint professionals working in target housing and child-occupied facilities. This rule applies to both Firms (companies) and individuals offering and performing lead-based paint activities.

State Programs

TSCA Section 404 directed EPA to develop a program that would allow states and tribes to develop their own lead-based paint training and certification programs to operate in lieu of the Federal program (402). On August 29, 1998 EPA began administering the 402 training and certification rule in all states and tribes without authorization.

To determine if a state has a lead program in place or has their lead program administered by EPA, check http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadoff1.htm

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Disclosure Information

Disclosure of information concerning lead-based paint upon sale or lease of pre -1978 residential property is required as part of the Disclosure Rule. This rule applies, but may not be limited to sale, rent or lease of residential properties.

A standardized pamphlet must be provided to prospective buyers, renters or lessees prior to entering into a contract. A copy of the pamphlet can be accessed here http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadpdfe.pdf

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Requirements To Protect Children During Renovation, Repair and Painting Activities that Disturb Lead-Based Paint

The EPA issued a new rule aimed at protecting children from lead-based paint hazards in places they frequent. The rule applies to renovators and maintenance professionals that work in housing, child-care facilities and schools built prior to 1978. The rule “Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program” requires that contractors and maintenance professionals be certified; that their employees be trained; and that they follow protective work practice standards. These standards prohibit certain dangerous practices, such as open flame burning or torching of lead-based paint. The required work practices also include posting warning signs, restricting occupants from work areas, containing work areas to prevent dust and debris from spreading, conducting a thorough cleanup, and verifying that cleanup was effective. The rule will be fully effective by April 2010.

This rule is one component of a comprehensive program that will also include an education and outreach campaign to promote lead-safe work practices. This program will help to meet the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning as a major public health concern by the year 2010. While the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead-based paint for residential use in 1978, almost 38 million U.S. homes still contain some lead-based paint, with two-thirds of the houses built before 1960 containing lead-based paint. Renovation activities that disturb lead-based paint can create lead hazards.

What is covered by the rule?

The rule applies to paid contractors working in pre-1978 housing, child care facilities and schools with lead-based paint. Contractors include home improvement contractors, maintenance workers in multi-family housing, painters and other specialty trades. The covered facilities include residential, public or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis as well as all rental housing. The rule applies to renovation, repair or painting activities. It does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities affecting less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or less than 20 square feet of lead-based paint on the exterior. Window replacement is not minor maintenance or repair.

What does the rule require?

The rule, issued under the authority of section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), requires that renovators are trained in the use of lead safe work practices, that renovators and firms be certified, that providers of renovation training be accredited, and that renovators follow specific work practice standards.

The “Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program” and additional information can be accessed at www.epa.gov/lead.

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Lead Waste Disposal Issues

Residential Lead-Based Paint Waste is Household Waste

Aiming to further reduce lead poisoning in children, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarified that contractors can manage residential lead-based paint (LBP) waste as household waste. Allowing LBP waste to be managed this way makes it more affordable for people to reduce lead in and around their homes.

Contractor Waste

Residential contractors frequently work on residential dwellings like single family homes, apartment buildings, row houses, military barracks, or college dormitories. They routinely generate LBP waste during lead abatement, remodeling, or rehabilitation work on these residences. The waste consists mostly of building parts, such as doors, window frames, painted woodwork, and paint chips. Because the standards were unclear, contractors who needed to dispose of lead-based paint waste were uncertain about how to properly manage it.

EPA’s policy statement allows contractor-generated LBP waste to be disposed of as household waste. Household waste is regular garbage or trash that is disposed of as municipal waste, and managed according to state and local requirements. Residents are already entitled to manage their own LBP waste in this manner. Extending this option to contractors simplifies abatement work and lowers its cost, which will allow more lead paint removal from more homes nationwide. Consequently, people’s homes everywhere will be safer for both children and adults.

Information on the EPA LBP Disposal issue can be found here:

Be sure to check your local jurisdiction for their interpretations on this memo.

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Identification of Dangerous Levels of Lead

As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to protect children from lead poisoning, the Agency announces, new standards to identify dangerous levels of lead in paint, dust and soil. These new national standards are more protective than previous EPA guidance and will, for the first time, provide home owners, school and playground administrators, childcare providers and others with standards to protect children from hazards posed by lead, including children in federally-owned housing.

Under these new standards, federal agencies, including Housing and Urban Development, as well as state, local and tribal governments will have new uniform benchmarks on which to base remedial actions taken to safeguard children and the public from the dangers of lead. These standards will also apply to other Federal lead provisions, such as EPA’s real estate disclosure requirements presently in place for people selling or renting a home or apartment. These hazard standards will also serve as general guidance for other EPA programs engaged in toxic waste cleanups. In addition, these standards will provide landlords, parents, and childcare providers with specific levels on which to make informed decisions regarding lead found in their homes, yards, or play areas.

Health problems from exposure to lead can include profound developmental and neurological impairment in children. Lead poisoning has been linked to mental retardation, poor academic performance and juvenile delinquency. Nearly one million children in America today have dangerously elevated levels of lead in their blood. Because of the potential dangers, any exposure to deteriorated lead-based paint presents a hazard.

Under the new standards, lead is considered a hazard when equal to or exceeding: 40 micrograms of lead in dust per square foot on floors; 250 micrograms of lead in dust per square foot on interior window sills and 400 parts per million (ppm) of lead in bare soil in children’s play areas or 1200 ppm average for bare soil in the rest of the yard.

Identifying lead hazards through these standards will allow inspectors and risk assessors to assist property owners in deciding how to address problems which may include lead paint abatement, covering or removing soil or professional cleaning of lead dust.

Current information on EPA’s Hazard Levels of Lead can be found here:

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Housing and Urban Development – HUD

Rule for Federally Owned or Assisted Property

HUD has issued regulations governing federally-owned residential properties that are to be sold and housing receiving federal assistance.

The link to the HUD Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Program is here:

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA

OSHA Lead in Construction Standard 29 CFR 1926.62

The Occupational Safety Health Administration have developed a standard for all construction-related activities involving lead (including painters, carpenters, etc.).

It is important to know that the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard, 29 CFR 1926.62, applies at any detectable concentration of lead – not limited to lead-based paint as defined by EPA and the CSPC.

A copy of the final OSHA Lead in Construction regulation can be obtained at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10641

OSHA Lead in General Industry Standard 29 CFR 1910.1025

OSHA developed a standard for all workers involved in the general industry setting, such as factories and other employment worksites other than the construction industry.

A copy of the final OSHA Lead in General Industry regulation can be obtained at: