The number of childhood lead poisoning cases in Maryland has dropped to its lowest level since lead testing was first implemented in 1993.
Blood lead levels of 10 or more micrograms per deciliter of lead constitute lead poisoning. In the initial 1993 test, 14,000 of 60,000 children tested had lead poisoning. That’s nearly 25% of the children. Last October, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced their most recent test had concluded that only 355 children out of 118,000 tested had lead poisoning. That’s only 0.3% of children tested.
Officials attribute the drop to Maryland Housing Bill 760, “The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program” (Maryland Environmental Article 6-8). It was signed into law in May 1994. The law is intended to make all privately-owned pre-1950 rental housing units safer for children, whilst helping rental property owners and managers to avoid costly lead poisoning litigation. The law declares specific lead hazard reduction measures and dust sampling procedures they must comply with.
ATTN: Landlords and Renters
Federal law requires that before signing a lease for housing built before 1978, renters must receive the following from their landlord:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home. (Click to download)
- Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
- For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
- An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.