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Lead Prevention

Why should I worry about lead in my home?

  • Lead in the home can cause children and pregnant women to unknowingly be exposed to lead hazards and possibly poisoned by them.
  • Lead Poisoning can cause major development and behavioral problems in growing babies and young children.
  • Lead is commonly found in the paint used in older homes built before 1978. Most homes in the City of Schenectady were built before 1978, and many contain lead in their indoor and outdoor paint.

How can Schenectady County help me make sure my home is safe? The Lead-Safe Neighborhood Program offers FREE lead inspections to many homes in the City of Schenectady and in Schenectady County. If a lead hazard is found in your home, program staff will make sure the hazard is cleaned up, so your children will not be exposed to lead. The county has recently teamed up with the City of Schenectady to provide money to homeowners to remove lead-hazards from qualifying homes within the city. Please call 518-386-2818 for an appointment. You may qualify for a FREE lead inspection

  • Do you live in the 12303, 12304, 12307 or 12308 zip codes?
  • Do you have children under the age of 6 in the house or are you pregnant?
  • Are you a renter, resident, or a homeowner?

Homeowners and Landlords

Homeowners and Landlords are required to provide a safe environment for the families who live in the houses they own, including keeping families safe from exposures to lead through the home. If the home you own was built before 1978, it probably contains lead somewhere in the paint on the inside or outside of the house. If a child or pregnant woman is poisoned by lead while living in your home, you may be liable. Schenectady County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and the City of Schenectady’s program to remove lead-hazards from city homes can help!

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

Disclosure of lead based paint to tenants:

If you know there is lead paint in your home, you are required to disclose this information to anyone interested in renting your property, before a rental agreement or lease is signed. You must provide an EPA lead hazard information packet to the tenants including this handout from the EPA to tenants “Protect your family from lead in the home.” If you do not disclose lead, and a child living in the home is poisoned by lead, you are liable to pay damages to the child’s family.

 

My rental property contains lead-hazards that need to be fixed. Now what?
Before you, a landlord or a contractor begins to work on the home, you must provide your tenants with EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet.

If the job is smaller than a 6-foot space
Please contact Schenectady County Health Dept to discuss your plan for remediation before you begin. Call 386-2818.

If job is larger than 6-foot space

As of April 2010, The EPA requires anyone doing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 to be legally EPA-certified and follow lead-safe work practices to prevent lead contamination. If you are going to do the work yourself, at least one member of your staff must be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices.
  • If you do not fix a known lead-hazard and a child is poisoned, the homeowner may be liable!

Fix the lead hazards:

Call SchenectadyCounty Public Health Services to see if you qualify for a FREE lead-hazard inspection, and we can help you decide what is the best way to re-mediate your home.

Landlords are required to fix and remediate any lead-hazards in the home so that the home is safe for children and families. Some jobs are small and will be easy for you to do yourself, but any job that will disturb 6-square feet or more of paint requires an EPA-certified contractor to fix the lead-hazards.
Information for Parents

Lead is found in the paint of many older homes in Schenectady County, especially in homes built before 1978. If you are living in an older home and have children under age 6, there is greater chance that your children are being poisoned by lead. Also, if you are pregnant and are exposed to lead, your baby can develop health problems.

Children are only safe from lead if they are not exposed to it. Lead can cause health problems in young children with developing brains. It is important to have your home tested.

In Schenectady County, FREE lead inspections are offered for homes with a pregnant woman or children under the age of 6 in the 12303, 12304, 12307 or 12308 zip codes. Call us to come and check your home to see if there are places in your home that might expose lead to your children.

Symptoms of lead poisoning:

Your child may have been exposed to lead poisoning if they show any of the following:

Hyperactivity Clumsiness, stumbling, staggering Lethargy Irritability Seizures

 


Quick tips to prevent Lead poisoning:

Get your home tested for lead! If you find out you have a lead hazard have it properly cleaned-up. While waiting for testing, make sure to:

Frequently wash your hands Provide close supervision of children Damp mop and wipe floors and window areas at least weekly Store foods in plastic or glass containers Keep children away from damaged and peeling painted surfaces


What can I do if I think my child was exposed to lead?

Take your child to a doctor or call Schenectady County Public Health Services to inquire about a “Blood lead level test.” If your child has been to a Doctor for a regular checkup, he or she may have already been checked for lead. Call your Doctor’s office and ask!
  • Poor Appetite
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
Renters and Residences

Lead is found in the paint of many older homes in Schenectady County, especially in homes built before 1978. If you are living in an older home and have children under age 6, there is greater chance that your children are being poisoned by lead. Also, if you are pregnant and are exposed to lead, your baby can develop health problems. As a renter, it is your right to know if your home contains lead that could be hazardous to the health of your family.

Rights as a Renter/ Tenant

If the landlord was aware of any lead in the home, they are required to tell new tenants about the lead hazard before leasing the property and provide an EPA booklet about lead. Not all landlords are aware the home they are renting has lead, so call us for an inspection if you are not sure. If a lead hazard is found, the landlord is required to fix it at no cost to you. If you are having problems with your landlord, please contact The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York at 518-462-6765.

Information for Contractors

As of April 2010, The EPA requires anyone doing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 to be legally EPA-certified and follow lead-safe work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Need to find a contractor to fix the lead-hazards in your home? 
Locate Certified Renovation and Lead Dust Sampling Technican Firms

Information for contractors that are already EPA certified in lead-safe practices:

A Refresher course needs to be completed every 5 years to keep your certification. See “Local training offered” below for a schedule of upcoming, free, refresher courses.

 

Any questions? Call Frank at the Schenectady County Health Services at 386-2818 for questions, concerns and more information.

  • Free lead clearance testing
  • Hire you to remediate lead from qualifying homes in the City of Schenectady through the City’s lead remediation grant. Call Frank at 386-2818 for more information on contractor jobs.

EPA information on Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule.

How can Schenectady County and the City of Schenectady help you?

Free trainings to become an EPA certified lead safe contractor Free HEPA vacuum loan program.
  • See the Documents section of this webpage.

Local training offered:

Free training for local contractors to become EPA certified in lead-safe remediation practices are offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany and the Community Land Trust of Schenectady. Participants must pre-register for these trainings

Information for contractors that are interested in becoming EPA certified in lead-safe practices:

  • Schenectady County requires Renovators and Contractors to complete 2 EPA training courses to be considered an EPA Certified lead safe contractor.
  • Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP)Refresher course: a half day (4 hour) course
  • Lead Safe Work Practices (LSWP): a full day (8 hour) course
  • After successful completion of these courses, participants are certified by the EPA for 5 years.