There have been significant changes to Maryland’s Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Act that were passed during the 2012 legislative session that are going to take effect soon.
The registration fees have increased to $30 per unit and starting Jan. 1, 2015, all residential rental properties constructed prior to 1978 must be registered and lead inspected prior to each change in occupancy.
The Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (Lead Program) serves as the coordinating agency of statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.
Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Law,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950; maintains a statewide listing of registered and inspected units; and, provides blood lead surveillance through a registry of test results of all children tested in Maryland.
More information and renewal forms can be located online at www.mde.state.md.us, or call the Lead Rental Registry at 800-776-2706. They also provide a list of contractors in the area that are certified to test for lead paint.
Lead is one of the most significant and widespread environmental hazards for children in Maryland. Children are at greatest risk from birth to age 6 while their neurological systems are developing. Sustained exposure to lead can cause long lasting neurological damage or death.
The major source of exposure for children is lead paint dust from deteriorated lead paint or from home renovation. Most childhood exposure occurs through children’s normal hand-to-mouth activity after contact with a source of leaded dust. The most effective prevention of childhood lead poisoning is to reduce or eliminate exposure.
— Lauren Bunting is a licensed realtor with Bunting Realty, Inc. serving Worcester and Wicomico counties.