There are many dangers of being exposed to lead, especially for children. Most exposure to lead by children comes from lead paint. Lead was used frequently in house paint before 1978. When it peels, children sometimes are poisoned by putting the lead paint chips in their mouths.
Also, lead paint can be dangerous when it is being stripped or sanded, because lead is released into the air. Lead also can be found in older toys and furniture, painted toys made in other countries, hobbies that use lead, and pipes and faucets in older homes.
Lead can cause serious mental problems and even death. It’s been estimated that one in eleven children between the ages of 1 and 5 has an elevated level of lead in their blood. Because lead and lead paint pose such a danger, especially to children, federal and state laws have been set up to protect people from the potential dangers of lead exposure.
Under federal law, if you buy or rent a home that was built before 1978, the seller or landlord must provide you with a form called “Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards”, as well as an information pamphlet.
If you are purchasing a home in New York, the purchase contract must give you 10 days to inspect for lead-based paint. You should carefully choose a contractor to inspect for lead hazards, and look for peeling and cracking paint and dust.
If you are renting an apartment in a New York City building with three or more apartments, and it was built before 1960, the landlord must ask you if a child under the age of six lives in your home. If so, the landlord must perform a visual lead inspection of your apartment at least once a year and must correct any lead paint problems.
Exposure to lead is not something to be taken lightly. If you are a landlord or property owner and you have questions about your legal duty regarding lead and lead paint, call New York Real Estate Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We have seven offices in Western New York at which to serve you.