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Lead in Consumer Products, Housing, and Safe Work Practices
This page covers the following topics:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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