What is Lead?

Lead is a base that is used in paint for some homes that were built before 1978. It has been found to have damaging health effects to humans and animals when ingested, and can have a significant impact on children even before they are born. Due to its damaging health effects, it has been banned across the country and the world.


Lead Paint health dangers and hazards:

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that’s produced by decaying uranium. It’s present in nearly all soils, and very low levels of radon are found in the air we breathe every day. The gas moves from the soil into a home. Although it can seep directly through pores in concrete, the worst entry points are gaps in walls and floors. Any house, of any age, in any state can have elevated radon levels. It really depends on the way your specific house interacts with the surrounding soil.


Lead Paint Law in Maryland:

Maryland law has very specific stipulations concerning lead paint. One of the rules suggest that rental property owners with properties built before 1978 will have to register with the Maryland Department of Environments (MDE) and follow some other specific guidelines including regular lead paint inspections.

Full Risk Reduction / Clearance Inspection (also known as ‘dust swipes’ or ‘lead safe’). This inspection is a visual inspection to look for any defective paint (inside, outside and in the basement) and then dust swipes to make sure there is no lead dust. The certificate issued is only valid for the current tenant so each time the tenant changes a new certificate is required.


Maryland Lead Paint Inspection Guidelines:

The Visual Lead Inspection

The inspector will examine the property to insure that the paint is intact and shows no sign of failing. There can be NO signs of chipping, flaking or peeling paint in the interior and the exterior of the property. This includes any outbuildings such as a garage or shed.

Dust Sample Collection

After the visual inspection is concluded the inspector will collect dust samples from each room:

  • Properties with replacement windows require ONE sample per room from a window well, sill or floor.
  • Properties with non-replacement windows (windows with wooden painted surfaces) require TWO samples per room. ONE be must from a window well and a second from either the floor or  window sill.
  • Rooms without windows require ONE sample from the floor

Lab Testing for Lead

The samples are then sent to an accredited lab for testing. Turnaround time is one business day..at no extra charge. The federal government and Maryland have set guidelines for lead content in paint.

The MDE Lead Certificate

When the lab results show that all samples taken meet the required standards a Full Risk Reduction Certificate will be issued to the property owner. The MDE also receives a copy and if you rent a copy is also provided for your tenants.