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Lead Poisoning Prevention for Parents and Tenants

What is Lead?

Lead is a poison often found in old paint. Peeling lead paint, and the dust it turns into, is the most common cause of lead poisoning in young children.  Lead is particularly harmful to children. It can cause learning and behavior problems, and delay physical growth and mental development.  In New York City, building owners are required to fix peeling paint. It’s the law.

What are Building Owner’s Responsibilities?
  •  In New York City, building owners are required to identify and safely fix lead paint hazards in the apartments of young children. The law applies to your apartment if:The building was built before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 if the owner knows that the building has lead paint) and
  • The building has 3 or more apartments and
  • A child under the age of 6 lives in your apartment.
What are Safe Work Practices for Fixing Lead Hazards?

Building owners must use safe work practices and trained workers to fix lead paint hazards and when  doing general repair work that disturbs lead paint.  Safe work practices include:

  • Never dry scrape or dry sand lead paint
  • Post warning signs around the work area
  • Tell tenants to stay out of the work area
  • Clean the work area with wet mops or HEPA vacuums every day and after the work is done
  • Remove all items that can be moved from the work area
  • Cover furniture that cannot be moved
  • Seal floors, doors, and other openings with plastic and waterproof tape
  • Hire a professional to check lead dust levels after the clean-up is completed
What are Tenant’s Responsibilities?

New York City tenants must fill out and return the

  • Annual Notice (PDF) Other languages: [En Español] form that they receive each year from their building owner.  This form tells your building owner if any children younger than 6 years of age live in your apartment.

    Tenants should also:

    • Report peeling paint in your apartment to the building owner
    • Call 311 or go online  if your building owner does not fix peeling paint or you think the work is not being done safely
    • Notify your building owner if a child younger than 6 years of age comes to live with you during the year or if you have a baby
    • Wash floors, window sills, hands, toys, and pacifiers often



    See more lead poisoning prevention publications.