Landlords: MDE has Changed Lead Dust Standards Effective July 1st

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Landlords: MDE has Changed Lead Dust Standards Effective July 1st

MDE just announced yesterday that starting July 1, 2020, new Maryland lead-dust level standards will go into effect following guidance released from HUD and the EPA last year. In a nutshell, these tighter standards for lead in dust on floors and window sills in pre-1978 homes will further protect children from the harmful effects of lead exposure. This is the first change since these standards were adopted in 2001. The table below shows the upcoming changes which apply to all lead dust inspections in Maryland (by any inspection contractor).

 Area tested Current standards New standards (effective July 1, 2020)
 Floor ≥ 40 µg/ft2 ≥ 10 µg/ft2
 Window sill ≥ 250 µg/ft2 ≥ 100 µg/ft2
 Window well ≥ 400 µg/ft2 ≥ 100 µg/ft2

These changes mean that a lot of rental properties in Maryland that previously passed our lead dust inspections would now fail unless cleaned even better. Properties should literally be spotless. It may also be almost impossible for a property with old wooden windows to pass. These changes also mean that lead inspections will take slightly longer as we will be sampling a larger area. Although laboratory costs are also increasing, we are not adjusting our pricing at this time. For more information on our lead paint inspection services, visit www.MarylandLead.com.

Background: Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure because they their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed from multiple sources and may experience irreversible and life-long health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed.

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