Massachusetts Considers Revising Its Lead Laws and Lowering the Lead Poisoning Level In Children

9/12/2016

On September 13, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will hold its final public hearing session regarding proposed amendments to the Lead Poisoning and Prevention Control regulations (105 CMR 460.000). Although the proposed amendments include changes in language to some of the definitions and abatement procedures contained in the regulations, the most notable change proposed will lower the lead poisoning blood lead level in children under the age of six from 25 micrograms per deciliter of blood to 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood. The dramatic decrease in the reportable level of lead in the blood will give rise to many times the current number of children that the Commonwealth considers to be lead poisoned, which will likely result in an increase in the number of lawsuits filed against homeowners and landlords for lead poisoning claims. Given that a child's blood lead level is easily elevated by ingesting a relatively small amount of lead and given the strict and generally unfavorable laws in Massachusetts for landlords defending against a lead poisoning lawsuit, it is critical that landlords not only properly test their property for lead, but also properly inform potential tenants regarding known or possible lead paint on the property that will be rented. Knowledge of and adherence to the Massachusetts lead laws is a landlord's best protection for avoiding lengthy and costly lawsuits stemming from lead poisoning claims.

Governo Law Firm has represented homeowners, property managers, and landlords in lead poisoning claims for three decades throughout the United States. We stay current with scientific, medical, and legal developments in lead poisoning, as well as other toxic torts, including asbestos, benzene, and mold. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the proposed amendments to the Massachusetts lead laws, please contact David Governo (dgoverno@governo.com) or John Gardella (jgardella@governo.com).