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Lead Paint

According to the State of Massachusetts, Lead Paint poisoning is the #1 preventable health epidemic in America.  Lead is a mineral so it is absorbed like iron and calcium, the body stores minerals in the bones.  Talk to Boston Children’s hospital if you need remediation. Problems of note are developmental delays, irreversible brain damage, and IEP for life.

The state is cracking down on lead paint because the costs in schools is prohibitive.  An IEP in school costs $14, 000 each year, over $200,000 during a child’s school career.  The best remediation to return IEP money to the state pocketbooks, is to put this health problem in the hands of the homeowners, and remove the burden for the state, thus a crack down on compliance for environments for children under 6.

Further lead paint was warrantied for 40 years by paint companies.  The state of MA is anticipating  further deterioration of paint, the warranty period is reached, and as paint gets old it turns to dust.

The average house is over 100 years old in MA, 71% housing stock in Massachusetts was built before 1978.  

The Lead Law in MA requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under six live. Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint and lead paint surfaces defined as accessible to children.

Lead Laws were updated in MA Dec 1st 2017. 

1)      New childhood poisoning standards.  The test formerly considered poisoning over 25MG, effective Dec 1. 2017, it is formally lowered to 10, with a NEW category of 5-10,  for concern. 

2)      If a child test over 10 it will trigger required mandatory inspections, clinical follow-up for children and families, and crackdown with landlord violations and lead compliance. 

Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home. Financial help is available through tax credits, grants and loans. For more information:


Sellers/Homeowners, you need your ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE to prove compliance! 

Check your files!

Inspectors that are getting recertified (CE credits) are being told that any lead inspections prior to 2003 need to be re-inspected or updated.  They will do a walk through inspection and charge 1/2 price if there is a previous Certificate or report in hand.  If they don’t have a previous CERTIFICATE in hand (it can be recorded compliant in the lead safe database, this does not qualify as documentation) inspectors can order a Post Compliance Assessment Determination (PCAD) but will charge full price. 

This didn’t work out for my last client, the seller didn’t have a copy of the certificate, inspector was retired, moved to Florida, and had no archived records. The state database does not keep a copy. Seller is out of luck, buyer must retest to certify compliance. Bad news, the house didn’t pass this time. Keep your certificate. My understanding is that new, with 2017 regulations, they will be retesting anyway, since paint ages, and the property compliance might change a few years later.

This is the route: To get a copy of an inspection report or Letter of Compliance for a property, contact the inspector who did the inspection or issued the Letter of Compliance. To find an inspector’s phone number, click on the lead safe home database link below, to see who was listed as your inspector.  

You can look up the inspection history of a property by entering a street name or street name and number. This database will indicate whether a property has ever been inspected for lead, has had any lead hazards, or has a letter of compliance. 

Lead Safe Home Database

If you believe it is inaccurate, there has been a lead inspection, please call the State at 1-800-532-9571 to better assist you. If you call, remember you are calling the state of Massachusetts. Put on your patience hat. 🙂

This is the 10 page property transfer document that you will be asked to sign, when you buy or sell a property in MA. 

Lead in water is rare, it would come from old fixtures and lead solder, typically if water sits at night the lead leaches into the water. Boston treats the water so there is a barrier to lead pipes.



Massachusetts and National Lead Safe

Lead Safe World 


Lead Paint Removal

Finding and Removing Lead

EPA website for Real Estate Home Owners, Landlords and Renters 

This is federal funding for problem communities like Worcester, Clinton, and Fitchburg.

As always Landlords have to get the unit tested within 30 days of being notified of children under 6.

60 days to get a quote

90 days to start

120 days to complete

As always, per the lead transfer form, new homeowners with any children under 6 are required to test, and bring house under interim control within 90 days. 

There is 0% homeowner loans called “Get the  Lead out” .  Tax credit of $1500. Your local community may offer programs for homeowners. Contact your city or town hall for more information.

Finding Contractors

In January 2018, All licensed contractors including plumbers and electricians, will be required to take RRP certification when they renew their licenses.  Previously just construction supervisors were required.  



Renovate Repair Painting (RRP) rule is an EPA regulation. 
It makes sure renovations and repairs done in pre-1978 homes, and child occupied homes, are done in a lead safe manner.



"When getting help with money, whether it is insurance, real estate or investments you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman." -Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University

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