Lead is a dangerous toxin which can effect adults, children and pets. Lead exposure is especially dangerous to children since young children absorb lead at a rate increase of up to seven times that of an adult. According to the EPA and the CDC, lead poisoning affects over one million children in the US today, 250,000 children under the age of 6.

Lead poisoning can affect every system in the body and can cause brain damage, reproductive problems, organ damage/failure and in extreme cases, coma and death. Low levels of lead exposure can impact the brain resulting in developmental issues, difficulty learning and other health problems.

Lead enters the blood stream immediately where it remains for several weeks and is later absorbed by the bones where it is stored and may remain for a lifetime. Means of exposure to lead include dust in homes, day care facilities and schools built prior to 1978. Lead is commonly found in building materials other than paint including damaged plaster, piping which contaminates tap water, roofing materials and exterior soil. Rain water run-off from roofing contaminates surrounding soil being tracked indoors or found where children play. Soil in general may have been contaminated from roof drainage, prior construction and leaded gasoline. Once absorbed into the soil, lead neither dissipates nor breaks down.

Special interior areas of concern include any peeling or chipping paint, window wells and sills, doorways, built in cabinets, drawers and flooring.Residences built prior to 1978 have a significantly increased risk of containing lead paint. Even the smallest lead particle in dust and household dirt can cause lead related illness in children.


Learn more about childhood lead poisoning»

It's the law

Homeowners and rental property owners are required to delead to compliance if a child under six resides at the residence and the residence is not short term. Landlords may not refuse to lease property to families with young children or pregnant women simply because they do not want to delead the property. Doing so is an act of discrimination and an illegal practice in Massachusetts. Landlords and Real Estate companies have been significantly fined by the Massachusetts Attorney General for denying to rent due to the presence of lead based paint.

It is important to know that property owners in Massachusetts are legally held liable if a child under six is lead poisoned by hazards on their property.No waiver signed by the tenant will relieve the property owner of the responsibility or liability.

What is required by Law for homeowners in Massachusetts?

Learn More About Deleading Financial Assistance for Massachusetts Homeowners