Lead paint is a natural heavy metal found in both the natural and human environment. Lead is commonly found in paint, dust, soil, water, food, certain occupations, and hobbies, as well as cosmetics and medicines. Lead gets absorbed into the system, enters the bloodstream and is circulated throughout the human body. Lead poisoning may directly affect the bloodstream, liver, kidneys, nervous system, bones, reproductive system, and brain, where it may impair the development of hearing and speech. Although extremely high levels are rare, they can result in convulsions, coma, or death. Lead paint determinations are conducted under State Sanitary Code inspections when a child under the age of six resides in the unit and with the parents' consent.
The Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) has adopted new regulations under its lead standard 454 CMR 22, that apply to renovation, repair or painting (RRP) work conducted for a fee in target housing or any child-occupied facility where more than threshold amounts of lead paint are disturbed.
This new regulation became fully effective in Massachusetts on April 22, 2010. It is essential that you determine whether or not the renovation work you perform falls under the new regulations.
You can reach DOS at 617-969-7177
Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Environmental Protection Agency
Screening and Incidence Statistics by Community Fiscal Year 2011 (see how Leominster compares to other communities)