In Massachusetts due to project cost many “water mitigation” and “restoration” contractors are performing water damage and restoration repairs without considering the importance of following the Massachusetts lead laws.  When these laws are not followed correctly the occupants may become subjected to health & safety issues unaware. See the Massachusetts lead law below (in pertinent part).

Materials coated with lead paint must be handled with care and follow strict regulations. Under most policies lead sampling would be covered. If building materials are expected to be manipulated, removed, or repaired (due to the water damage) and these materials are confirmed to have lead, the policy should cover this extra cost.

If you have a water damage project and the contractor has not provided you with a lead disclosure as well lab results call Environmental AirTechs for information at 413-569-5554.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
250 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(800) 532-9571


Under Massachusetts and federal law, this notification package must be given to prospective purchasers of homes built before 1978. This package must be given in full to meet state and federal requirements. It may be copied, as long as the type size is not made smaller. Every seller and any real estate agent involved in the sale must give this package before the signing of a purchase and sale agreement, a lease with an option to purchase, or, under state law, a memorandum of agreement used in foreclosure sales. Sellers and agents must also tell the prospective purchaser any information they know about lead in the home. They must also give a copy of any lead inspection report, risk assessment report, Letter of Compliance or Letter of Interim Control. This package is for compliance with both state and federal lead notification requirements.
Real estate agents must also tell prospective purchasers that under the state Lead Law, a new owner of a home built before 1978 in which a child under six will live or continue to live must have it either deleaded or brought under interim control within 90 days of taking title. This package includes a check list to certify that the prospective purchaser has been fully notified by the real estate agent. This certification should be filled out and signed by the prospective purchaser before the signing of a purchase and sale agreement, a lease with an option to purchase or a memorandum of agreement used in a foreclosure sale. It should be kept in the real estate agent’s files. After getting notice, the prospective purchaser has at least 10 days, or longer if agreed to by the seller and buyer, to have a lead inspection or risk assessment if he or she chooses to have one, except in cases of foreclosure sales. There is no requirement for a lead inspection or risk assessment before a sale. A list of private lead inspectors and risk assessors licensed by the Department of Public Health is attached and can also be found on the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program’s website at
Sellers and real estate agents who do not meet these requirements can face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 under state law; a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and possible criminal sanctions under federal law, as well as liability for resulting damages. In addition, a real estate agent who fails to meet these requirements may be liable under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.
The property transfer notification program began in 1988 and has been very successful. It provides information you need to protect your child, or your tenants’ child, from lead poisoning. Massachusetts has a tax credit of up to $1,500 for each unit deleaded. There are also a number of grants and no-interest or low-interest loans available for deleading. It’s up to you to do your part toward ending lead poisoning.

CLPPP Form 94-2, 6/30/94, Rev. 2/03

What is lead poisoning? How do children become lead poisoned?

Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to lead in the environment. It is most dangerous for children under six years old. In young children, too much lead in the body can cause permanent harm to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells. Even at low levels, lead in children’s bodies can slow growth and cause learning and behavioral problems. The main way children get lead poisoned is by swallowing lead paint dust. They do not have to chew on leaded surfaces or eat paint chips to become poisoned. Most childhood lead poisoning is caused by children’s normal behavior of putting their hands or other things, such as toys, in their mouths. If their hands or these objects have touched lead dust, this may add lead to their bodies. Children can also be exposed to lead from such other sources as lead-contaminated soil or water, but these sources alone rarely cause lead poisoning. Lead can be found in soil near old, lead-painted houses. If children play in bare, leaded soil, or eat vegetables or fruit grown in such soil, or if leaded soil is tracked into the home and gets on children’s hands or toys, lead may enter their bodies.

What are the symptoms of lead poisoning? How is it detected?

Most lead poisoned children have no special symptoms. The only way to find out if a child is lead poisoned is to have his or her blood tested. The Massachusetts Lead Law requires all children between 9 months and 3 years old to be screened annually for lead, and again at age 4 if living in a high-risk community. If your child has been exposed to lead, or if you do not know if your child under age six has been screened for lead, ask your child’s doctor, other health care provider or your local board of health for a simple screening test of your child.

What is the treatment for lead poisoning?

Treatment of a lead poisoned child starts with finding and removing the lead hazards to which the child is exposed. This will include a lead inspection of the child’s home, and if lead hazards are identified, deleading of the home. Medical treatment depends on the child’s blood lead level and the child’s response to the removal of the lead source. Parents will be taught about protecting their child from lead exposure. They will need to watch the child’s progress through frequent blood tests. If necessary, the child may receive special drugs to help rid his body of excess lead. With this treatment, drugs are given daily for as long as several weeks. Sometimes this must be done more than once. A child who has been lead poisoned will need a lot of blood tests for a year or more. He or she should be tested for learning problems before starting school.

Are children under six years old the only ones at risk of lead poisoning?

No. Young children are usually more easily and seriously poisoned than older children or adults, but lead is harmful to everyone. Lead in the body of a pregnant woman can hurt her baby before birth. Older children and adults who live in older housing with lead paint hazards may become exposed to lead and could potentially develop lead poisoning through home renovation. Most lead poisoning in adults is caused by work-related exposure or home renovation. Even hobby supplies, such as stained glass, bullets and fishing sinkers, can expose people to lead. Lead poisoning in adults can cause high blood pressure, problems having children for both men and women, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory loss and problems concentrating, and muscle and joint pain. Adults who have any of these symptoms and who have been exposed to lead should consider being screened for lead. Those who are regularly exposed to lead through their work are required by law to have their blood tested once a year for lead.

What are the dangers of lead paint in homes, and when was it used?

Lead paint in homes causes almost all childhood lead poisoning. Lead is so harmful that even a small amount of fine lead dust that cannot be seen can poison a child. Lead paint covered by layers of nonleaded paint can still poison children, especially when it is disturbed, such as through normal wear and tear, or home repair work. When such lead paint is on moving surfaces, such as windows, fine lead dust is released through normal use. This dust settles, where it can be easily picked up on children’s toys and fingers. Household paint with poisonous (now illegal) levels of lead was in use in Massachusetts from the 1690s until 1978. In 1978, the U.S. government banned lead from house paint. Lead can be found in all types of pre-1978 homes: homes in cities, suburbs or the countryside; private housing and state or federal public housing; single-family and multi-family homes. The older the house, the more likely it is to contain lead paint. The older the paint, the higher the likely lead content.

Can routine home repairs cause lead poisoning?

There can be a danger of lead poisoning whenever painted surfaces inside or outside
are scraped for repainting, or woodwork is stripped or removed, or windows or walls are removed. This is because lead paint is found in almost all Massachusetts homes built before 1978, and
of Massachusetts’ homes are old. Do not use power sanders, propane torches or heat guns
leaded paint, as these methods create a lot of lead dust and fumes. Temporarily move your
(especially children and pregnant women) out of the home while the work is being done and
up, or at a minimum, tape up plastic sheets to completely seal off the work area. Get a lead
done, so that you will know which surfaces have lead paint and need extra care when preparing
doing home repair work, and during cleanup afterwards. Do not do repairs in older homes
learning about safe ways to do the work to reduce the danger of lead dust. Hundreds of cases
childhood and adult lead poisoning result each year from do-it-yourself home projects.

Does my family have to be out of the house during deleading or interim control work?

Residents must be out of the house for the entire time that a deleader is doing deleading work inside a home, and for some of the deleading work by owners and their agents. Residents may stay at home, but out of the work area, while a deleader, property owner or owner’s agent without a deleader’s license does certain other deleading tasks, or such interim control work as structural repairs or lead dust cleaning. Residents who have been out of the house may not return until the deleading work that made it necessary for them to leave is complete, the home is cleaned up, and a lead inspector or risk assessor has checked and found this work has been properly done and dust samples have passed. For complete details, contact CLPPP.

Are there any exemptions to the Massachusetts Lead Law?

The Lead Law applies only to homes built before 1978 in which a child under six lives. Any home or apartment having fewer than 250 square feet of living space, or which is in a rooming house, is exempt, as long as no child under age six is living there. Finally, homes rented for 31 days or less for vacation or recreational purposes are also exempt, as long as there is no chipping or peeling lead paint in the home and the renter has received the Short-Term Vacation Rental Notification.

What is the best time to delead or undertake interim control?

The best time to delead a home or bring it under interim control is when the home is vacant, so that residents will not be exposed to lead and household furnishings will not be contaminated with lead. In addition, it often is efficient, and reduces costs, to combine deleading with other repair work being done to a vacant home.

You may find the full document at:

Also See EPA Lead:

Renovators, Remodelers, Contractors, and Landlords of Pre-1978 Housing:
The Pre-Renovation Education Rule (PDF) (5 pp., 3.53 MB, about PDF) may require you to notify owners and tenants of pre-1978 housing of the presence of lead paint before the remodeling or renovation work is performed and provide them with the EPA pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”.

For more information click on the EPA’s Lead Paint Assistance/Enforcement page:For “EPA: Lead Paint Assistance/Enforcement”.