I was notified that I am scheduled for a lead paint inspection - why does my apartment need to be checked for lead paint hazards?
Lead paint inspections and assessments are very important, because exposure to lead-based paint can cause serious health problems, especially in children and pregnant women.
Lead-based paint was used before 1978, but was federally banned that year. If the original lead paint has been covered over, sealed, and is in good shape, lead paint is usually not a problem. But if lead-based paint is peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or is damp, it is a health hazard.
When lead paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust. Children can be poisoned if they swallow or breathe in lead dust. Children under 6 years old are at higher risk of lead exposure because their bodies are still developing, and children this age tend to put their hands and things they pick up into their mouths. Exposure to lead can damage the brain and nervous system.
What do I do if there are children under the age of 6 in my apartment?
New York City law requires that you inform NYCHA whether a child under 6 years of age lives in and/or routinely spends 10 or more hours each week in your apartment. This information determines NYCHA’s next steps for taking protective measures if there is lead-based paint in the apartment.
If a child lives with you, or regularly visits your apartment, here is how you can let NYCHA know:
Will all NYCHA apartments be inspected?
NYCHA will complete lead paint inspections for all NYCHA apartments built before 1978 that have not been previously tested or abated. This amounts to approximately 134,000 apartments.
How does NYCHA determine if there is lead paint in an apartment?
NYCHA uses two different ways to identify lead paint and lead-based paint hazards in apartments:
Do I need a work order for a lead inspection or abatement?
No; NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control Department will schedule the inspections and, if any lead paint is found, any follow-up work for abatement.
How do I know when my appointment is scheduled?
How will the inspection be completed?
Two lead inspectors, who are independent contractors, will use advanced technology to detect any lead paint in the walls. Lead inspectors have a strict protocol that is followed in a specific order, as required by law, no matter who the contractor is. They will also complete a visual inspection, looking for any signs of chipping or cracking paint.
How long does the inspection take?
If inspectors can access all the walls and windows in every room in your apartment, it should take no more than an hour.
What about COVID-19 protocols?
If any member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please notify property management staff ahead of time, or the inspectors before they enter your home. You will be rescheduled for the inspection.
The lead inspectors will wear masks while in your home to protect you and your family. Please notify the Property Management Office immediately if you see any inspectors without masks on.
What do I need to do to prepare for my appointment?
An adult 18 years of age or older must be home during the entire inspection. The inspectors will need access to all rooms in your home, including a small area of the walls inside the closets, bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and windowsills. A clear path to the walls in each of these rooms is required. No doors can remain locked inside the apartment.
What if I can’t be home for my inspection appointment?
Please contact your Property Management Office as soon as possible to arrange for an alternative appointment.
How long will it take to receive the results of my lead inspection?
You will receive the results in a Notice of Evaluation/Disclosure letter 10-15 days after the date of inspection in the mail.
What happens if lead-based paint is found in my apartment?
If lead paint is identified and you have a child under 6, NYCHA will visually assess the lead paint in your apartment twice per year to make sure it is not peeling, cracking, or damaged. If it is, NYCHA will schedule a remediation to fix the paint. When doing this, NYCHA will use lead-safe practices, such as using plastic sheeting and cleaning up the work area using special techniques. After the work is done, NYCHA will then send another team to take a dust sample to ensure that the area has been cleaned properly.
If you notice any of these areas peeling, cracking, or damaged at any point throughout the year, you should immediate notify NYCHA. NYCHA will send a team to perform the work described above as a priority.
NYCHA also plans to perform abatement of all lead paint in its apartments. Abatement means the paint will be fully removed from the apartment, or covered with an approved material. NYCHA will be starting with abatement in apartments with children under 6 this year. If you are notified that your apartment will be abated, NYCHA will work with your family to ensure this work is performed safely and as conveniently as possible. If abatement occurs in certain rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, or bedrooms, you may be offered temporary accommodations, such as a hotel, while the work is being performed. Most abatements should last no more than 1 to 2 days.
What about the paint in the common areas in my building?
Concerned about lead poisoning? Lead poisoning is preventable. Avoid exposure.
Here’s what you can do:
Protect Your Family:
If you have any questions for NYCHA’s Lead Hazard Control team, please reach out to email@example.com.