What lead paint forms must owners of rental homes give to new tenants?
Before renting a home built before 1978, the property owner and the new tenant must sign two copies of this
Tenant Lead Law Notificationand Tenant Certification Form, and the property owner must give the tenant
one of the signed copies to keep. If any of the following forms exist for the unit, tenants must also be given a
copy of them: lead inspection or risk assessment report, Letter of Compliance, or Letter of Interim Control.
This form is for compliance with both Massachusetts and federal lead notification requirements.
What is lead poisoning and who is at risk of becoming lead poisoned?
Lead poisoning is a disease. It is most dangerous for children under six years old. It can cause permanent harm
to young children’s brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells. Even at low levels, lead in children’s
bodies can slow growth and cause learning and behavior problems. Young children are more easily and more
seriously poisoned than others, but older children and adults can become lead poisoned too. Lead in the body of
a pregnant woman can hurt her baby before birth and cause problems with the pregnancy. Adults who become
lead poisoned can have problems having children, and can have high blood pressure, stomach problems, nerve
problems, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.
How do children and adults become lead poisoned?
Lead is often found in paint on the inside and outside of homes built before 1978. The lead paint in these homes
causes almost all lead poisoning in young children. The main way children get lead poisoning is from swallowing
lead paint dust and chips. Lead is so harmful that even a small amount can poison a child. Lead paint under
layers of nonleaded paint can still poison children, especially when it is disturbed, such as through normal wear
and tear and home repair work.
Lead paint dust and chips in the home most often come from peeling or chipping lead painted surfaces; lead
paint on moving parts of windows or on window parts that are rubbed by moving parts; lead paint on surfaces
that get bumped or walked on, such as floors, porches, stairs, and woodwork; and lead paint on surfaces that
stick out which a child may be able to mouth such as window sills.
Most lead poisoning is caused by children’s normal behavior of putting their hands or other things in their
mouths. If their hands or these objects have touched lead dust, this may add lead to their bodies. A child can also
get lead from other sources, such as soil and water, but these rarely cause lead poisoning by themselves. Lead
can be found in soil near old, lead-painted homes. If children play in bare, leaded soil, or eat vegetables or fruits
grown in such soil, or if leaded soil is tracked into the home from outside and gets on children’s hands or toys,
lead may enter their bodies. Most adult lead poisoning is caused by adults breathing in or swallowing lead dust
at work, or, if they live in older homes with lead paint, through home repairs.
How can you find out if someone is lead poisoned?
Most people who are lead poisoned do not have any special symptoms. The only way to find out if a child or
adult is lead poisoned is to have his or her blood tested. Children in Massachusetts must be tested at least once a
year from the time they are between nine months and one year old until they are four years old. Your doctor,
other health care provider or Board of Health can do this. A lead poisoned child will need medical care. A home
with lead paint must be deleaded for a lead poisoned child to get well.