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Lead in Consumer Products, Housing, and Safe Work Practices

This page covers the following topics:

  • Lead
  • Enforcement Actions
  • Lead in pre-1978 Housing (for landlords, tenants, and sellers of real estate)
  • Lead Safe Work Practices - Compliance with EPA's "RRP" Rule and Vermont Law (for contractors, painters, plumbers, and electricians)
  • Lead in Consumer Products (for retailers and plumbers)
  • Other Resources
  • Lead

    Lead poisoning is a serious but preventable health problem. Medical research shows that there is NO safe level of lead.

    Lead can cause permanent damage to children, including: learning disabilities, behavioral problems, lower IQ, and other health problems. In 2007, about 1,600 Vermont children under the age of 6 who were tested for lead had blood lead test results at or above the current Vermont level of concern (5 micrograms per deciliter). Adults can also suffer health effects from lead, including: higher blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anemia, kidney damage, thyroid dysfunction and cancer.

    Lead in paint and dust from lead paint are the major sources of lead exposure for Vermont children. Approximately 66% of Vermont homes and 80% of Vermont rental units were built before 1978 when lead was banned in residential paint. Anyone living in or working on these buildings is at greater risk for exposure to lead – especially when unsafe work practices are used.

    Enforcement Actions

    The Office of the Vermont Attorney General, working with the Department of Health, is committed to decreasing the exposure of Vermonters to lead through enforcement of the Vermont lead laws. View settlement documents (including complaints, settlements and press releases) for lead law enforcement cases brought since the fall of 2007.

    Lead in Housing

    Vermont’s lead in housing law was most recently amended effective July 1, 2008. View a summary of those amendments or the law.

    Sales of pre-1978 Housing

    Sellers of pre-1978 housing must disclose certain information on lead hazards and, for rental housing, on compliance with the lead law. Disclosures are required both prior to executing a purchase and sale agreement and at the time of sale. For information from the Department of Health on the specific actions that must be taken and the materials that must be distributed, click here.

    Rental Housing

    Annually, owners of pre-1978 rental properties must perform essential maintenance practices (known as “EMPs”) at the rental properties. EMPs include, but are not limited to, installing window well inserts, visually inspecting properties at least annually for deteriorated lead-based paint, restoring surfaces to be free of deteriorated lead-based paint within 30 days after such paint has been visually identified or reported to the owner by a tenant, and posting lead-based paint hazard information in a prominent place.

    An EMP Compliance Statement certifying completion of EMPs needs to be submitted annually to the Department of Health, to the property owner’s insurance carrier and to all tenants of the property.

    NEW: Vermont Department of Health electronic EMP filing for landlords and property managers: https://secure.vermont.gov/VDH/emp/

    Press release: http://healthvermont.gov/news/2013/012813_emp.aspx

    Rental Housing Resources

  • EMP Compliance Statement.

  • www.rentalcodes.org – serves as a central location for Vermont rental housing rules, regulations, and guidelines, with viewers able to access information based on who they are (landlord, tenant, or municipality) and area of interest. Features checklists of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including links to relevant codes and contacts

  • Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide to identifying and reducing lead hazards in your home. It is required that this pamphlet be distributed to tenants as a part of complying with the Vermont Lead Law (EMP Compliance Statement number 11).

  • List of EMP Contractors: The Department of Health has a list of contractors who have completed an approved Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) training course and are available to perform EMPs for a fee. This list is not a recommendation or endorsement by the Vermont Department of Health.

  • The Vermont Attorney General’s Office sponsored a workshop for landlords and property managers on how to comply with Vermont’s lead in housing law. The video and materials from the workshop include a summary of the legal requirements of the law, financial and technical resources and model forms to come into and stay in compliance with the law, best management practices, and model forms for property management companies.
  • Lead Safe Work Practices

    ATTENTION PAINTERS, CONTRACTORS, REMODELERS, MAINTENANCE WORKERS AND OTHER SPECIALTY TRADES: On April 22, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Renovation, Repair, and Painting (“RRP”) rule went into effect.

    The rule and Vermont law has slightly different standards for anyone distributing lead-based paint.

    The Attorney General’s guide to Lead Safe Work Practices includes information on how to comply with both Vermont's law and the EPA rule.

    EPA website database of accredited trainers or contact the EPA at 1-800-424-LEAD for assistance in finding a trainer.

    Click here for a list of Certified Renovation firms.

    Lead in Consumer Products

    Vermont’s lead in consumer products law, 9 V.S.A., Chapter 63, Subchapter 1C, strives to phase out most lead from children’s products and from some non-children’s items, and requires warnings to consumers about lead.

    Parts of Vermont’s lead in consumer products law, relating to lead in children’s products, have been supplanted (or “preempted”) by the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which was signed into law on August 14, 2008. href=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-4040.

    For further information on lead in consumer products, please visit the Attorney General’s lead in consumer products page.

    Resources

  • Guide to the lead in consumer products law for businesses.
  • Supplemental guide on lead in plumbing supplies.
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Vermont’s lead in plumbing supplies law (“Act 193”).
  • Other Resources:

  • Contact the Office of the Attorney General: For questions on Vermont’s lead law and the lead law enforcement activity of the Office of the Attorney General, please call 802-828-5507 or e-mail: lead@atg.state.vt.us
  • Attorney General Sorrell on “Across the Fence”: Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell appeared on the “Across the Fence” television program on March 16, 2009 to discuss the dangers of lead paint, the obligations of landlords under Vermont’s lead law, and the lead law enforcement activity of the Office of the Attorney General.
  • “Get the Lead Out of Vermont” Report: On February 1, 2007, Attorney General William Sorrell and Acting Commissioner of Health Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN, released the results of a year-long study of lead poisoning in Vermont. The report recommends a wide variety of actions the State can take to reduce the effects of lead on all Vermonters. The entire report can be viewed below:
    Get the Lead Out of Vermont (Cover) Table of Contents Overview Housing Consumer Products Identification and Intervention Resources
  • Town Health Officers: the Vermont Department of Health has information and resources available for Town Health Officers on its website, including information on the role and responsibilities of Town Health Officers, the Town Health Officer Manual, and audio podcasts of Town Health Officer trainings and presentations.
  • Find your Town Health Officer: The Department of Health also maintains a searchable list of all Vermont Town Health Officers by town and officer name.
  • Additional Resources:

    EMP Training
    Selecting a Lead Contractor
    Lead Poisoned Children Rules
    Lead Disclosure Rule
    Rental Housing Health Code
    The Cost of Lead Poisoning in Vermont (“The Dartmouth Report”)
    VDH Lead Resource Guide
    Vermont Lead Poisoning Statutes

  • Useful Links:

    Vermont Department of Health lead website
    Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
    City of Burlington Lead Program
    Vermont Apartment Owners Association
    Vermont Tenants Inc. (VTI)
    Vermont Legal Aid
    Vermont Rental Housing Codes
  •   Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.