What is a lead paint inspection?

Using a portable spectrum analyzer, a lead inspection tests surfaces for the presence of lead coatings. Although rare, some varnishes as well as paint contained lead!

Under what circumstances must I delead?

If a child under six years of age resides or is to reside in a home, that home is required to be in compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law. This is a requirement whether there has had a lead inspection or not. If a lead inspection is performed a copy of the cover sheet is sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, however, no action is taken as a result of that inspection. Only if a child is actually poisoned does the State intervene and then, it makes no difference if there has been a previous inspection or not. The owner will delead at that time according to a very strict timetable.

What are the procedures for deleading?

Deleading is based on information provided in a lead inspection report unless the report is a “determination” rather than a full inspection. A “determination” is a report which includes testing results on less than all the living areas of a home.

What other services does LeadInspection.Com offer?

Some owners feel comfortable negotiating a sometimes complex deleading contract among competing companies and claims. However, this is often a confusing and time-consuming process. You may wish assistance in obtaining the best price and the highest quality work and LeadInspection.Com is available to help you. If you would like to have a detailed set of deleading specifications created for your home or property, we can create them for you. These specifications would be used to establish expected standards and to solicit bids. In this process we will create a draft set of specifications and then meet with you to go over each item to be deleaded so that your issues and options can be fully understood and so that knowledgeable decisions can be made.

Is lead dust a major issue?

To some lead dust is the major issue. Lead dust can be extremely fine and is, therefore, easily absorbed into the bloodstream. In the case of a small child with a developing nervous system, lead dust may be far more destructive than, say, a lead chip. Dr. John Graef, a leading expert in this field, has written that there is enough lead in a chip the size of a finger nail to kill a child. However, in most cases a chip works its way through a digestive system without being fully absorped and is then excreted. Lead dust is another matter. It is easily absorped and the effects are immediate and long lasting.

Is dust testing part of a lead inspection?

We are able to collect samples to test for lead dust at the time of our inspection but there will be an additional charge. If you would like LeadInspection.Com to test for dust only- especially if you have had any home repairs or renovations which may have disturbed leaded surfaces--we can perform that service.

What is a final inspection?

When deleading is completed a final inspection is performed which verifies that all violations have been brought into compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law. Among other things there is an enforceable “standard of workmanship” requirement. In certain cases there may be an intermediate “reoccupancy” reinspection if, for some reason, the exterior is to be completed after the unit is reoccupied.

When the deleading process is completed, LeadInspection.Com will issue a document which entitles you to a $1,500 tax credit.

What surfaces require deleading?

To achieve compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law removal of lead paint violations must be accomplished within a dwelling unit, the unit’s interior and exterior common areas, and the exteriors of all other structures within the same lot line. On accessible surfaces, removing loose paint and re-painting with non-leaded paint does not constitute compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law.
  1. Intact lead paint on mouthable surfaces must be removed completely at least five feet from the floor, steps, or ground and four inches back from each mouthable edge. Alternatively the surfaces can be covered, replaced or encapsulated. Flat casings can be reversed, the remaining exposed sides must have the lead paint completely removed.

    Mouthable surfaces include, but are not limited to, window sills, door fames below the five foot level, stationary window sash including mullions, stair rails, porch railings, and all other interior and exterior surfaces or fixtures that may be readily mouthed by children. Pipe covers and “outside corners” commonly found on walls and baseboards are considered mouthable surfaces and must be treated as such.

  2. Loose Paint, at any height, is defined as “peeling, flaking or chipping paint, paint over crumbling, cracking or falling plaster, or plaster with holes in it; paint that is damaged in any manner such that a child can get paint from the damaged area.” This loose paint must be made intact. An intact surface is defined as a surface with no loose paint.

  3. Moveable Windows with sills five feet or less from the ground must have all lead paint and putty removed from all surfaces that are moveable or come into contact with moveable surfaces. Surfaces include interior and exterior sashes, sills in their entirely, mullions and parting beads.

Who receives inspection reports?

As of June 9, 1989, 105 CMR 460.750: LEAD POISONING PREVENTION AND CONTROL states: whenever dangerous levels of lead are found in residential premises, the inspector shall report this to the owner, to the tenants in the dwelling unit inspected, and to the Director of the State Program. The report shall also inform the tenant about the tenant’s rights and remedies under the lead law, regulations and the State Sanitary Code, and shall contain information on how to reduce children's exposure to dangerous levels of lead. The forms of notification to be distributed as follows:

TO THE OWNERS by the inspector

  1. Copy of the Inspection Report
  2. Residential Deleading Advisory
  3. Notice to Property Owner and Occupants’ Rights and Remedies
  4. Notice to Tenants of Lead Paint Hazards
  5. Deciding Whether to Encapsulate
  6. Interim Control of Lead Paint Hazards


  1. Copy of the Inspection Report
  2. Residential Deleading Advisory
  3. Notice to Property Owner and Occupants’ Rights and Remedies
  4. Notice to Tenants of Lead Paint Hazards
  5. Deciding Whether to Encapsulate
  6. Interim Control of Lead Paint Hazards


  1. Notice to Tenants of Lead Paint Hazards


  1. Copy of Inspection Report


  1. A copy of the report cover sheet (page 1)

What is a Risk Assessment and Interim Control?

Text provided by MDPH/CLPPP

The Massachusetts Lead Law requires homes and apartments built before 1978 which contain lead hazards to be deleaded or brought under interim control when a child under the age of six lives there. The following questions and answers will help you decide if the interim control option is the best choice for you.

What are interim controls?

Interim controls are temporary measures that property owners can take to correct urgent lead hazards, especially peeling or chipping lead paint and lead dust.

The purpose of interim control is to give property owners up to two years before they have to delead a home or apartment unit and come into full compliance with the Lead Law.

What conditions must be met to get a Letter of Interim Control?

In addition to the repair of peeling and chipping lead paint and the clean up of lead dust, other work may be necessary, such as:

Who can make any necessary repairs?

Licensed deleaders must make some repairs, but property owners and their agents may make other repairs for interim control.

How do I get Letter of Interim Control?

Property owners should contact a licensed risk assessor, a special lead inspector, who will perform a risk assessment of the property and decide what work, if any, needs to be done.

After all necessary repairs have been made and the home or apartment is cleaned, a risk assessor will return to take dust samples and to confirm visually that the required work and cleaning have been carried out. Once dust sample results show safe levels of lead dust, the risk assessor will issue a Letter of Interim Control.

How long can interim control last?

A Letter of Interim Control is good for one year from the date it is issued. The property owner can have the home reinspected before the end of the year. If all conditions are met, the home can be recertified for an additional year.

If the risk assessor finds the home is not in good condition, the home must be repaired before the risk assessor can approve the work and renew the letter for the second year.

No home can be under interim control longer than two years from the date on the original Letter of Interim Control, even if the home has been sold in the meantime.

The home must be fully deleaded by the end of the second year.

What liability do I have?

A property owner is not strictly liable under the Lead Law for damages suffered by a lead poisoned child while a Letter of Interim Control is in effect. However, the property owner still has a legal responsibility to maintain the property.

What obligations do I have once I get a Letter of Interim Control?

Property owners are responsible for making sure a home or apartment remains lead safe. They should periodically inspect the property to ensure that there is no peeling or chipping paint, that all interim control repairs remain in place, and that no new structural problems have developed.

Tenants in homes or apartments under interim control are given a CLPPP tenants brochure, which includes postcards to inform property owners if repairs are necessary. Property owners should make every effort to respond quickly and carry out the repairs safely and completely within 14 days. If they don’t, a state or local Board of Health risk assessor will check the property.

Is financial help available?

An owner can take as a credit on state income taxes one-half of the cost (up to $500) of any deleading work done to achieve interim control that also meets the requirements of full deleading compliance. There is a tax credit of up to $1500, as well as grants and loans, for full compliance.

For more information:
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program 1-800-532-9571 or 617-983-6900

What is Low Risk Owner/Agent Deleading (including encapsulation)?

Text provided by MDPH/CLPPP

  1. Surfaces are assessed by a Lead Inspector and indicated on the report as eligible for low-risk abatement or not, Y or N.
    Homeowner cannot encapsulate or perform low-risk abatement without first having this assessment.
  2. Owner/Agent gets a Low-Risk Deleading Information Package from DPH, CLPPP (Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program 617-753-8400).
    Owner/Agent reads information, watches a video on encapsulation, takes a test and mails it into CLPPP.
    Low-Risk Deleading of any type, cannot be performed before owner/agent takes test and mails it in. A 10 day deleading notification form must be mailed in by owner/agent, prior to beginning any work.
  3. Owner/Agent performs X-Cut and Patch Testing for areas to be encapsulated, as described in literature from CLPPP. Owner/agent must document this testing on the “Tape/Patch Test Documentation Form”.
  4. If any dust generating work is to be done, tenants must move out.
  5. Level II Deleader must perform all dust-generating surface preparation work for areas to be encapsulated.
  6. Owner/Agent can perform non-dust generating surface preparation, (cleaning and deglossing of surfaces and non-dust generating low-risk deleading.)
    Owner/Agent cannot encapsulate yet.
  7. Re-inspection is performed on work done by deleader, and for surfaces which have had non-dust generating preparation performed by the owner/agent and are to be encapsulated by the owner/agent.
  8. Owner/Agent can encapsulate and finish non-dust generating low-risk deleading.
  9. Owner/Agent must produce the “Documentation of Authorized Owner/Agent Low-Risk Abatement and Containment” form which specifies that work was done in compliance with the lead law, and that they took the required training. It also details the work that was performed and the property address where it was performed.

Note: If owner uses a vinyl siding contractor who plans to cover loose, chipping and/or peeling paint with tyvek or similar wrap, the vinyl siding contractor must take the training specified in #2 above, or be a licensed Deleader Contractor. Application of vinyl siding only, without the wrap must be performed by a licensed Deleader Contractor.

What is the Residential Deleading Advisory?

Text provided by MDPH/CLPPP

The process of abating or containing lead paint (commonly called deleading) can be very dangerous, whether it is done for full compliance or as part of bringing a unit under interim control. For this reason, the Lead Law (Massachusetts General Laws chapter 111, sections 189A through 199B), the Regulations for Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control (105 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 460.000) and the Deleading Regulations (454 CMR 22.00) require that a licensed deleading contractor remove lead paint, and in general, perform all deleading work necessary to correct lead violations that is not low-risk. The Lead Law, as well as the Regulations for Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control, allow property owners and their agents to perform certain low-risk deleading activities without a deleader's license, whether the work is done for full compliance or interim control. Before they do so, though, owners and their agents must obtain and review educational materials produced by the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and complete and send back to CLPPP a self-corrected exam. The educational materials include information for owners and their agents about safety precautions and cleanup requirements. The low-risk abatement and containment activities are the following specific activities: applying encapsulants; covering surfaces; capping baseboards; removing doors, cabinet doors and shutters; and applying exterior vinyl siding. Property owners and their agents may also perform other work that may be necessary for interim control, such as structural repairs and lead-dust cleaning.

The Lead Law and the Regulations for Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control have additional requirements to make sure that occupants of a dwelling unit are not exposed to lead hazards. The most important requirement is that any occupants be relocated from the dwelling unit while a deleader is performing any deleading work that is not defined as low-risk on interior surfaces. Property owners and occupants should refer to "Notice to Property Owners and Tenants: Tenants' Rights, Responsibilities and Remedies" for more information on alternative housing arrangements. Occupants may continue to live in a unit while an owner or agent is performing specified low-risk deleading activities, or other work that may be necessary for interim control, such as structural repairs or lead-dust cleaning, as long as they stay out of the area in which these kinds of activities are taking place. However, occupants must be out of the unit for the day while an owner or owner's agent applies coverings to a surface with peeling, chipping or cracking lead paint or plaster, and during spray application of encapsulants, and may return at the end of the workday, after the owner or owner's agent has cleaned up, but need not be out of the unit overnight. It is very important that occupants think carefully about what their daily needs will be during the time they are away from home, and take along all that they will need. No one should return to a dwelling unit while a deleader is still working or while an owner or agent is covering a surface with peeling, chipping or cracking lead paint or plaster, or applying encapsulant by airless sprayer. Both property owners and occupants must take their responsibilities seriously and cooperate fully to assure the protection of all concerned. No one should interfere with the work being completed safely.

Occupants of the unit in which any kind of deleading work is taking place, whether for full compliance or as part of interim control, and other residents of the building, if any, must receive written notification at least 10 days prior to the beginning of any lead paint abatement and containment work. Before a deleader begins work, all furnishings and possessions of every type should be removed or stored in plastic bags in non-work areas. This includes all children's clothing, toys, stuffed animals, bedding, etc. Everything should be removed and closets must be emptied. Possessions not removed from the work area should be put in plastic bags and left in the center of the room only as a last resort. The reason for these extensive precautionary measures is to protect every household article from lead dust contamination. Very fine dust is extremely hazardous and especially difficult to remove. Belongings must also be protected before an owner or agent performs low-risk abatement and containment work, or other work that may be required for interim control, but the precautions are not as extensive for this type of work. In general, it is recommended that furniture and belongings be moved outside the work area, or covered with thick plastic and sealed with duct tape, before low-risk abatement and containment begins.

A very thorough final clean-up will be conducted by the deleader no sooner than 24 hours after the completion of the deleader's interior work. This delay ensures that fine airborne particulate will settle out and be removed in the final clean-up. Occupants can return only after a lead inspector or risk assessor determines that a residential premises or dwelling unit is safe through the reoccupancy reinspection, which will include an analysis of lead dust levels within the home. Occupants should leave a phone number where they can be reached so that the inspector or risk assessor can notify them when it is safe to return home. Occupants cannot be permitted to reoccupy the home until the dust samples are found to indicate acceptable lead dust levels. If the property owner or agent is going to be performing low-risk deleading work or other work that may be required for interim control after the occupants return home, they will be taking some precautions as instructed in the CLPPP educational materials. They will also be responsible for cleaning up when they are done (and need not wait 24 hours after completion to do so). An inspector or risk assessor will return at that point and perform a reinspection to check the owner's or agent's work.

While there is no substitute for correcting lead hazards through full compliance, or bringing a unit under interim control, and then performing a thorough clean-up to protect children from lead exposure, there are some important steps that can be taken even before work for full compliance or interim control begins. Your lead inspector's or risk assessor's advice and counsel should be carefully followed because of his/her personal knowledge of your child's home environment.

As part of their normal behavior, young children place things in their mouths, especially toys and their own fingers. If there are leaded paint chips and dust in your home, they may end up in your child's mouth. Children's fingers pick up lead dust, as do toys, food and candy that fall on the floor. It is especially important to wash your child's toys and to try to keep your child's hands clean, particularly at meal time.

Areas of peeling, chipping or flaking lead paint and dust should be cleaned. Wet sponging and mopping with detergents containing phosphate, such as TSP (tri-sodium phosphate), sold in most hardware stores, or automatic dishwasher detergents, such as Cascade or Sunlight, or other lead-specific detergents, are best for this kind of cleaning. Windows and window sills in particular are often a major source of lead exposure. Sills should be cleaned regularly if paint dust or flakes collect there. If windows are in poor condition, the best thing to do may be to keep the lower sash closed and open only the upper sash for ventilation. (This has the added benefit of protecting your child from accidental falls from the window.) Contact paper may be applied to areas of peeling paint on window sills, walls or other surfaces as a temporary measure. Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to clean up paint chips, because it will disperse fine particulate into the air. Sometimes furniture can be moved to form a child protective barrier to cover deteriorating paint or plaster. If deteriorating paint or plaster is in the child's bedroom, use another room as the child's room, if possible. Think of those parts of the home where your child spends most of his or her time, and try to keep them as clean as you can before your home's lead paint hazards are addressed through full compliance or interim control.

Lead paint can contaminate soil. If the exterior surfaces of your home have chipping, peeling or flaking paint, do not allow your child to play in the soil around the house, and be careful not to track soil from these areas into the house. Follow the advice of your lead inspector or risk assessor about soil on your property.

What is the re-inspection procedure?

After completion of the deleading process, a re-inspection should be performed. The following procedures apply.

  1. All scraping, sanding etc. must be completed.
  2. Entire unit must be HEPA vacuumed and washed down with trisodium phosphate (tsp).
  3. All carpets cleaned.
  4. All debris removed from premises.
  5. Scraped areas must be left unpainted until re-inspection is complete and complied.


What is encapsulation?

Text provided by MDPH/CLPPP

NB: We urge you to read the encapsulant information below with great care. LeadInspection.Com rarely recommends encapsulation because it leaves the lead paint in place and, in our opinion, it is a temporary measure which may or may not save you money. If the process fails, it may expose children again to the dangers of lead and end up costing you more money as well as wasting time and energy.

What are encapsulants?

How do I meet the Lead Law requirements using encapsulants?

How do I find out which encapsulants are approved in Massachusetts?

What are the advantages of using encapsulants?

What are the disadvantages of using encapsulants?

How do I maintain applied encapsulants?

Are there other methods to control lead paint?

Yes, Lead paint can be controlled in three other ways:

  1. Covering with rigid or semi-rigid materials.
  2. Replacing the architectural element containing lead paint.
  3. Removing all the lead paint form the surface.

For more information and to obtain required materials, including a free video, contact:
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program 1-800-532-9571

Are there grants and loans available for property owners?

Text provided by MDPH/CLPPP

Massachusetts has many financing programs that could help you pay for deleading you home or investment property. Call the programs listed below for more information on the grant and loan programs available. More detailed brochures are available, so be sure to ask for them.

Important: Many of the programs listed can be combined to help pay your deleading costs.


After you have your home deleaded, an inspector will issue you a letter certifying compliance with the Lead Law. You are now eligible for up to $1500 per housing unit. This credit may be applied against your state tax liability for up to seven years after deleading. For further information call the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at 1-800-392-6089.


Call the State Lead Program at 1-800-532-9571 (toll-free) for the Deleading Assistance Packet which includes detailed brochures and lists participating communities and lenders.

Get the Lead Out offers 0% interest (deferred payment) loans to delead owner-occupied homes and 3% loans to delead investor-owned homes. Only 1-4 family homes are eligible. For a detailed brochure listing Get the Lead Out agents call the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) at 617-854-1000 x 1020.

The Home Improvement Loan Program (HILP) offers low interest loans to delead owner occupied 1-4 family homes. Loans range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $15,000 per home. For a detailed brochure listing HILP agents call the MHFA at 617-854-1000 x 1020.

The Lead Paint Abatement Loan Guaranty Program helps investor owners of multifamily homes secure private financing to delead. This is accomplished by providing loan guaranties to banks. For a detailed brochure call the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund at 617-338-7868.

HUD 203 (K) Programs helps current homeowners and investor owners refinance their mortgage to pay for deleading costs. Prospective buyers can finance deleading costs through a single loan that would include their new mortgage. Only 1-4 family homes are eligible. A minimum of $5000 in repairs must be performed. For a list of participating lenders call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 617-565-7450.


Call your city-town hall and ask for your local office of Community Development, Rehabilitation, or Planning. They may offer help with deleading through the following programs:

Call local banks and find out if you can finance deleading through:


Homeowners and investor-owners may be eligible to the grant/loan program sponsored by the united States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development. Low and 0% interest loans, and grants are available to eligible owners of properties in the areas listed below, Some cities and towns only offer financing to delead properties within select neighborhoods. Call the agency nearest you for details.

Important: If your town/area is not listed below, call the other statewide and local programs listed on this opposite page.

Boston, Public Facilities Department 617-635-0190
Brockton, Self Help, Inc. (Avon) 1-800-225-0875 or 508-588-0447
Cambridge, Community Development 617-349-4600
Chelsea, Planning and Community Development 617-889-8233
Lawrence, Community Development 508-794-5891 x137 or 174
Malden, Redevelopment Authority 617-324-5720
North Shore, Peabody Community Development 508-532-3000
Greater Plymouth, South Shore Housing Development Corp.

Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster, Fitchburg Planning 508-345-1018
Worcester County, Rural Housing Improvement, Inc.
 508-297-5300 x271
Worcester, Planning and Community Development 508-799-1400

Chicopee, Community Development 413-594-4711 x283
Holyoke, Community Development 413-534-2230
Springfield, Redevelopment Authority 413-787-6500
Westfield, Community Development 413-572-6246