Lead-Based Paint Final Rule Update

Lead-Based Paint Final Rule Update

By Judy Sullivan

On January 13, 2017, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Office issued a final rule amending the lead-based paint regulations by reducing the blood level in a child under the age of six that triggers an environmental intervention if the child lives in federally-owned or federally-assisted housing constructed before 1978. HUD adopted the revised definition of “elevated blood lead levels” established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The final rule also establishes more comprehensive testing and evaluation procedures for housing where children live.

Scientific studies have shown that even low levels of lead in the blood can cause lifelong ill effects. The adverse health effects of lead in children include decreased bone and muscle growth, damage to the nervous system, kidney damage, blood anemia and damage to the brain, including behavior problems, lower IQ, hearing loss and learning disabilities.

The Lead Based Paint rule was published as a proposed rule for public comment on September 1, 2016. The Final Rule was effective February13, 2017 and enforceable July 13, 2017.

Major changes in the rule:

  • Brings the definition of Elevated Blood Lead Level in line with CDC’s threshold (reduce to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL) or greater);
  • Enables HUD to change the Elevated Blood Lead Level in the future should the CDC threshold change;
  • When a child is found with an Elevated Blood Lead Level:
  1. Enhances the assessment in that child’s unit from a Risk Assessment to an Environmental Investigation;
  2. Adds a requirement that every assisted unit in the building occupied by a child under 6 years old receive a Risk Assessment with Lead Hazard Control of any lead-based paint hazards;
  3. Adds a requirement that HUD be notified for all types of housing assistance that have an Elevated Blood Lead Level requirement.

The final rule is at: http://bit.ly/2jh1eIE

Requirements for Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance; Response to Elevated Blood Lead Levels (24 CFR Part 35, [Docket No. FR–5816–F–02], RIN 2501–AD77). 

Judy Sullivan is NAHC’s government relations representative.