The Big Deal About Lead-Based Paint

There are many rules governing lead-safety in housing.  In 2000 HUD published regulations that apply specifically to federally-assisted housing built prior to 1978 that is occupied or will be occupied by young children.  These regulations,  intended to help protect children from lead poisoning by reducing LBP hazards, apply to housing assisted under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and mandate:

• Disclosure of known LBP
• Notification to tenants of the hazards of LBP
• Inspection and clearance procedures
• The use of lead-safe techniques when treating deteriorated paint.

** The entire Lead-Based Paint regulation can be found at

About Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint and dust pose a particular hazard to young children. In fact, the Center for Disease Control stated that lead poisoning is the most common environmental disease of young children. Lead is highly toxic and affects a child's developing brain and nervous system, causing reduction in IQ and attention span, reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. At high levels of exposure, lead poisoning can cause coma, convulsions and death. Although adults can suffer from excessive lead exposure, fetuses, infants and children under the age of 6 are most at risk due to their developing immune systems.

Lead-based paint in housing is the major remaining source of exposure to lead and is responsible for most cases of childhood lead poisoning today. Higher childhood blood lead levels are associated with residing in large urban areas and living in older homes. This is the reason HUD emphasizes the removal of LBP hazards in housing assisted under the Section 8 tenant-based program.

All property owners must

• Disclose all LBP information about their property to tenants by providing them with a completed Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards form. Click here to download.
• Provide all tenants with a copy of Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.

For FREE local programs to help you comply (may include training, funding, materials or certified contractors to complete the repairs), contact:

Lead Safe Erie County Program 716-961-6800

2010 Regulation

As of  April 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

To Learn More:

• Visit EPA's lead paint web page
• Read the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
• Read the fact sheet on renovation in English or Español