Every year, hundreds of children in Maine are poisoned by lead. Children less than six years old are most at risk of lead poisoning. Most lead poisonings in Maine are caused by exposure to dust from old lead paint. Lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems that last a lifetime.
More than half of Maine homes may have lead paint. Exposure to lead is most common in buildings built before 1950 (when paint contained up to 50% lead), and in buildings built before 1978 when repainting or remodeling is done.
What is a lead hazard?
A lead hazard is any condition that may cause exposure to lead from lead-contaminated dust, lead-contaminated soil, lead-contaminated water or lead-based paint that is in poor condition. Maine Department of Environmental regulations define the paint conditions and amounts of lead in dust, soil and water that constitute a lead hazard. It is possible to have lead paint in a home without it being a lead hazard.
By law, lead hazards may only be identified by a Maine-licensed lead inspector or risk assessor in the course of a lead inspection. Lead inspections may be performed to comply with a licensing requirement, as requested prior to a real estate sale, as part of a lead poisoning investigation, or because an owner wants to learn where there are lead hazards and lead paint in a home.
Applicable Maine Lead Laws/Regulations
Title 38, Chapter 12-B: Lead Abatement §1291 – §1297
Maine Statue Title 38, Chapter 12-B; Lead Abatement Emergency Provision § 1296
Title 22, Chapter 252: Lead Poisoning Control Act §1314 – §1327
Maine Solid Waste Management Rules, Chapter 424, Lead Management Regulations
Comparison with EPA Regulations
Maine’s regulations have variations from EPA and HUD applicable rules.
Maine Lead Disclosure Requirements
Maine has its own disclosure statement which must be included with the federal form and pamphlet for any contract for sale or lease of target housing. See 14 MRSA 1328(2) for more details.
Required Lead Inspections
Landlord must conduct an annual visual inspection.
Maine is only state to have incorporated the federal lead based paint disclosure rules into its Landlord-Tenant Statute.
Child Lead Poisoning: Resources for Landlords, Property Managers and Renters
The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Division of Environmental Health has a great website with information on: