Community Development

Lead-Based Paint Information

Lead is a bluish-gray metal used in many household and industrial items. It was added to paint to improve its durability and drying characteristics. In 1955, the industry adopted a voluntary standard limiting lead content in paint to no more than one percent by weight. This was gradually reduced and in 1978, the federal government banned lead paint altogether. Nevertheless, it is estimated that lead-based paint is still present in 64 million homes today (approximately three-quarters of the housing in the United States built before 1978). This paint poses little risk if it is left alone and is in good condition. People originally believed that lead exposure was limited to children chewing on window sills. It has been documented, however, that a greater exposure results from remodeling activities.

To protect the public from the dangers of lead from paint, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued federal regulations implementing sections of Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992) that became effective September 15, 2000.

Scientific research has found that exposure to lead in dust is the most common way young children become lead poisoned. Therefore, the new regulation requires dust testing after paint is disturbed to make sure the home is lead-safe. Specific requirements depend on whether the housing is being disposed of or assisted by the federal government, and also the type and amount of financial assistance, the age of the structure, and whether the dwelling is rental or owner-occupied.

For more information about lead

The following links will provide additional information on the hazards of lead-based paint and the Residential Lead-Based Pain Hazard Reduction Act of 1992:

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Memorial Town Hall
First Floor
534 New Loudon Road
Latham, NY 12110