Scientists and government health agencies recognized that there were health problems caused by lead poisoning many years ago. In fact, lead paint was banned for use in European housing more than sixty years ago. The use of lead to raise the octane in gasoline and the manufacture and use of lead-based paint in housing was finally prohibited in the U.S. in 1978.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, commonly known as Title X (Ten), was enacted in the U.S. 1992 and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations implementing Title X as to rental property were implemented in September and December of 1996.
Perhaps the best word to describe the present state of lead-based paint information is "alarming and confusing". Most government regulators, and liberal housing groups, are still screaming for eradication of all lead and other heavy metals from the environment. However, many scientists and medical professionals claim that the problems attributed to old lead-based paint in the home is very overblown.
Average lead levels in American children were a 25 parts per million per deciliter 25 years ago. The average lead level is 4 parts per million per deciliter today. Lead levels fell dramatically when the lead was taken out of gasoline, water pipes and voluntarily removed from food cans.
Before signing a lease or rental agreement, a landlord has been required to give every new tenant since 1997 the EPA pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home. Both the landlord and tenant are also required to sign an EPA-approved disclosure form that will prove that the landlord told the tenants about any known lead-based paint or hazards. The book and the required lead documents are available to members in the Forms Web.
Some states and communities have gone way beyond federal government mandates and guidelines on lead paint. The worst among them is Massachusetts where landlords are required to remove lead-based paint from any dwelling where a child under six may reside.
LEAD POISONING AT HOME: DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR SELLERS, LANDLORDS AND THEIR AGENTS FOR ALL PRE-1978 HOUSING.
National Center for Lead-Safe Housing