The Lead Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program requires that sellers, landlords and real estate agents ensure that all potential buyers or renters of property built prior to 1978 are provided information regarding lead paint and its hazards and that they have the opportunity to have the property inspected for lead. The information provided must take the form of an Environmental Protection Agency-approved information packet as well as any information regarding known levels of lead on the property.
Prior to 1978, lead-based paint was commonly used in residential properties. Under federal law, lead-based paints were banned for consumer use in 1978, greatly decreasing the chances that a home built after 1978 contains lead-based paint.
Over time, as lead-based paint chips, lead dust begins to build up, posing serious health risks, particularly to children and developing fetuses, who may suffer speech, language development and behavioral issues due to exposure.
In addition to regulations governing the sale or rental of a home, the EPA has rules governing renovation, repair and repainting of homes built prior to 1978. Most importantly, the contractor hired to perform the work must be lead-safe certified by the EPA or an EPA-approved agency, and safety procedures to prevent unintentionally spreading lead dust must be undertaken during the renovation, repair or repainting.