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Lead Risk Reduction

Protecting Your Home and Family from Lead Paint

Protecting Your Home and Family from Lead Paint

Lead paint, once commonly used in homes, poses serious health risks, especially to children. To reduce the risk of lead exposure, follow these essential steps:

1. Repaint Regularly:

Ensure that lead paint in your home is in good condition. When it becomes damaged, such as chipping, cracking, or peeling, it releases lead dust, a common source of contamination. Regular repainting is necessary to maintain the paint's integrity and prevent such damage.

2. Wooden Windows:

Old wooden windows often have layers of lead paint. The constant movement of these windows can wear the paint, generating lead dust. To reduce deterioration, secure the top sashes to prevent movement and keep windows closed when possible. Additionally, consider adding metal capping at the bottoms of window wells to make them easier to clean.

3. Carpeting:

Hard surfaces collect lead dust that can be within reach of children. Wall-to-wall carpeting or throw rugs can trap lead dust in their fibers, making it less accessible to children. This helps reduce the risk of exposure.

4. Unfinished Basements:

Concrete floors in unfinished basements are porous and can accumulate dust. Regular cleaning may not be sufficient. Consider painting the floor to create a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. A clear sealer on top of the paint can enhance durability and eliminate the need for frequent repainting.

5. Hire an RRP Accredited Firm:

When renovating or repairing your home, hire a firm accredited in Renovation Repair and Painting (RRP) by the EPA. This training program helps contractors improve work practices to minimize lead dust release during old paint removal. After the work is completed, hire an inspector to conduct a clearance inspection to ensure there is no lingering lead dust.

6. Regular Screening:

Early identification is the key to prevention. If you live in a home built before 1978, especially if you have children, have them regularly screened for lead exposure. Identifying elevated blood lead levels early can help you address the issue promptly.


Professionals can identify potential hazards and guide you on mitigation measures, preventing long-term health problems.

Take Action for a Safer Home

Your home should be a safe haven for your family. Taking proactive steps to address the risks associated with lead paint can protect your loved ones from potential harm. Remember, prevention and early detection are your strongest allies in this effort. Don't hesitate to seek professional guidance when necessary.

Maryland Lead Paint Rental Property Regulations

Know the rules

Maryland Lead Paint Rental Property Regulations

In Maryland, specific regulations exist to protect tenants from potential lead paint hazards, especially in residential rental properties built before 1978. These regulations are enforced by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and include the following key points:

1. Annual Registration for Pre-1978 Properties:

  • Residential rental properties built before 1978 are required to be registered with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) on an annual basis.


2. Exemptions for Post-1977 and Lead-Free Properties:

  • Properties constructed after 1977 are exempt from these annual registration requirements, as are properties that have passed a Lead-Free inspection and hold a valid certificate.


3. New Lead Inspection Certificate for Pre-1978 Properties:

  • Starting from January 1, 2015, all properties built prior to 1978 must obtain a new lead inspection certificate at each change of occupancy. This is crucial to ensure that tenants are not exposed to lead paint hazards during their tenancy.


4. Requirements for Landlords of Pre-1978 Housing:

  • Landlords who rent out properties built before 1978 must register their properties with MDE. Additionally, they must arrange for lead paint testing by an Accredited inspector before renting to tenants. This is a vital step to assess and mitigate lead paint hazards.


5. Update for Complete Change in Ownership:

  • Whenever there is a complete change in ownership of a property, including adding owners or transitioning to a corporation, a new registration and tracking number are required.


6. Specific Property Ownership Information:

  • Property registration should match precisely with what is on record with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Any variation in property ownership for a participating property necessitates an adjustment to the Lead Rental Registration file.

7. Renewal Requirement:

  • Regardless of when a property is registered within a calendar year, it must be renewed for the following year on or before December 31st of the same calendar year. This renewal is mandatory and applies to all registered properties.


Registering and Renewing Property:

  • If you're registering a property online between October 1st and December 31st, you can immediately renew it after the initial registration is complete.


Protecting Tenants, Ensuring Compliance:

These regulations are in place to protect the health and well-being of tenants by reducing the risk of lead paint exposure in older rental properties. Landlords and property owners are responsible for compliance with these regulations to create safe and healthy living environments for their tenants.

Lead Inspection: What to expect

What to expect from your lead inspection

Navigating the Lead Inspection Workflow: What to Expect

Lead inspections are a vital step in ensuring the safety of residential properties, especially those built before 1978. To eliminate any confusion, we've mapped out the lead inspection process in accordance with Maryland state standards. Rest assured that we are here to guide you through this essential process, which aligns with state regulations.

1. Initial Assessment:

  • The lead inspection process typically begins with an initial assessment to determine if a property falls under the lead inspection requirements. This includes identifying the property's construction year and its history.

2. Registration:

  • If your property is subject to lead inspection, the next step is registration with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This registration is an annual requirement.

3. Accredited Inspector Selection:

  • After registration, you will need to engage the services of an Accredited Inspector who is certified to conduct lead paint inspections. We will guide you through this process and assist you in selecting a qualified professional.

4. Inspection Appointment:

  • Once an Accredited Inspector is chosen, an inspection appointment will be scheduled. During this visit, the inspector will thoroughly assess the property for the presence of lead paint hazards.

5. Inspection Report:

  • Following the inspection, you will receive a detailed inspection report outlining the findings. This report will indicate whether any lead hazards were identified and the necessary steps to address them.

6. Mitigation and Abatement:

  • If lead hazards are present, mitigation and abatement measures will be recommended to ensure the property is safe for occupancy. These may include lead paint removal, encapsulation, or other appropriate actions.

7. Reinspection:

  • After mitigation or abatement is completed, a reinspection is conducted to verify that lead hazards have been effectively addressed. This step ensures compliance with state standards and confirms the property's safety.

8. Clearance Inspection:

  • The final step involves a clearance inspection, which is performed by an Accredited Inspector to confirm that the property is free from lead hazards and safe for occupancy.

Your Guide Through the Process:

We understand that the lead inspection process can appear complex, but rest assured that we are here to guide you every step of the way. Our goal is to ensure your property meets all safety requirements, protecting both your investment and the well-being of its occupants.

State Standards and Compliance:

Please remember that we follow Maryland state standards and regulations throughout the lead inspection process. Compliance is essential for creating a safe and healthy living environment in properties built before 1978.

If you have any questions or concerns about the lead inspection workflow or the process specific to your property, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to provide you with the support and expertise needed for a successful inspection and compliance with state standards.

Preparation Tips for a Successful Lead Inspection

How to pass a dust wipe inspection

Preparation Tips for a Successful Lead Inspection

To ensure a smooth lead inspection process and prevent dust wipe samples from failing, there are several steps you can take in advance:

1. Check Paint Condition:

  • Verify that all painted surfaces on the property are in good condition. MDE regulations do not allow dust samples to be taken from properties with deteriorated paint, including chipping, cracking, flaking, or peeling. Before the inspection, a visual assessment will be conducted. If any deteriorated paint is found, you will receive an itemized list of corrections that must be made before dust wipe samples can be taken.

2. Clean and Prepare Floors and Windows:

  • Thoroughly clean all floors and windows in the property to ensure they are in a "rent ready" condition. Even a tiny flake of lead dust, as small as a grain of sand, can cause a dust wipe sample to fail. Thus, it's crucial to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. If a dust wipe sample fails, the affected room will need to be cleaned and retested, incurring additional costs.

3. Use the Right Cleaners:

  • When cleaning, be mindful of the products you use. Alcohol-based cleaners like Windex are not effective at removing lead dust. Instead, opt for cleaners with surfactants (detergents), such as Simple Green, Mr. Clean, Swiffer Wet, or similar products. These cleaners are more effective at removing lead dust and ensuring a clean and safe environment.

4. Address Any Repairs Promptly:

  • If you identify areas with deteriorated paint or other issues that may affect the inspection, address them promptly. Ensuring that the property is in optimal condition will save time and resources during the inspection process.

5. Communicate with the Inspection Team:

  • Keep open lines of communication with the inspection team. If you have any questions or concerns about the preparation process or the inspection itself, don't hesitate to reach out. Clear communication can help streamline the inspection and ensure a successful outcome.

Ensuring Compliance and Safety:

By following these preparation tips, you not only increase the likelihood of a successful lead inspection but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the property's occupants. Compliance with MDE requirements is essential for maintaining a healthy living environment, particularly in properties built before 1978.

If you need further guidance or have specific questions about preparing for your lead inspection, please feel free to contact us. We're here to assist you in every step of the process and ensure your property meets all safety standards.

Understanding Lead Poisoning

Is Lead Pant Dangerous

Understanding Lead Poisoning: A Silent Threat

Lead poisoning is a serious health concern that can occur when lead accumulates in the body, often over an extended period, ranging from months to years. Even minute amounts of lead exposure can lead to severe health problems. Children under the age of 6 are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning, as it can significantly impact their mental and physical development. In extreme cases, lead poisoning can be fatal.

Common Sources of Lead Poisoning:

The most prevalent sources of lead poisoning in children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in older buildings. However, other potential sources include contaminated air, water, and soil. Adults who work with batteries, engage in home renovations, or work in auto repair shops may also be at risk of lead exposure.

Detecting Lead Poisoning:

Lead poisoning can be challenging to detect initially, as individuals may appear healthy even when they have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Symptoms typically manifest only when dangerous levels of lead have accumulated.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Children:

  • Developmental delay

  • Learning difficulties

  • Irritability

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Sluggishness and fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Hearing loss

  • Seizures

  • Eating non-food items, such as paint chips (known as pica)

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Newborns:

Babies exposed to lead before birth may exhibit the following:

  • Premature birth

  • Lower birth weight

  • Slowed growth

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Adults:

Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning can also have serious consequences for adults. Symptoms in adults might include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Difficulties with memory or concentration

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain

  • Mood disorders

  • Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm

  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth in pregnant women

Protecting Against Lead Exposure:

While there is treatment for lead poisoning, it is far better to take preventive measures to protect yourself and your family from lead exposure. Simple precautions, such as identifying and addressing potential sources of lead in your environment, can help prevent harm.

If you suspect lead exposure or have concerns about lead poisoning, seek medical advice promptly. Early intervention is essential to mitigate the effects of lead poisoning.

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