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Alameda County, CA,

Larry Brooks
Healthy Homes Department
Including the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

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Laws and Regulations about Lead

Quick Guide to Lead Regulations That May Affect You

Over the last decade a number of federal and state laws and regulations have been enacted. If you are a property owner, contractor, painter or maintenance worker, there are some particular regulations, described below, that are important to become familiar with in order to avoid fines and penalties. The rules were enacted to prevent lead exposures to occupants, neighbors and workers. Some general rules of thumb to help you comply with lead regulations are:

  • Assume that paint on a home built before 1978 is lead-based.
  • Maintain your property and keep the paint intact.
  • If you are painting or remodeling, use lead-safe work practices including proper containment.
  • Disclose lead hazards and provide the pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" to potential tenants and buyers.
  • Review the table below and learn more about the regulations that apply to your situation.

If you are a: This regulation may apply to you:
Maintenance worker
California Health & Safety Code, and Housing Law
Title X, TSCA 406(b)
Lead Abatement Contractors: Title 17
Lead-Based Paint Debris Disposal
EPA Rule: Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting
Owner Occupant Homeowner:

Conducting home improvements:
Disclosure Rule: Title X Section 1018

California Health & Safety Code, Housing Law
Title 17
Cal OSHA (with hired workers)
Lead-Based Paint Debris Disposal EPA Rule: Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting
Rental Property Owner:

Conducting repairs:

Section 8 participant:
Disclosure Rule: Title X Section 1018

California Health & Safety Code, Housing Law
Title 17
Cal OSHA (with hired workers)
Lead-Based Paint Debris Disposal

EPA Rule: Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting

Above regulations plus HUD Lead Safe Housing Rule
Tenant See above for rental property owner requirements
Concerned about schools Lead-Safe Schools Protection Act
Medical Provider Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act
Lead Exposure Screening
Reporting of Blood Lead Levels
California Health & Safety Code
Title 17
Consumer Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls
Lead in Children's Toys

The following is a short summary of some of the existing and proposed lead laws and regulations. For more information please see the full text of the regulations which can be found by following the links provided.


For more complete information on California lead laws and regulations:

Lead in drinking water
On September 30, 2006 the governor signed a Bill to reduce the allowable content of lead-containing products in our drinking water system. AB 1953, sponsored by Assembly Member Wilma Chan, amends Section 116875 of the Health and Safety Code to reduce the allowable lead content in pipes and plumbing fixtures.

For more information:

California Health and Safety Code, and State Housing Law
State codes and laws now make existing lead hazards, or creating a lead hazard, a violation subject to fines and/or imprisonment. This means that pre-1978 homes should be maintained so that they are lead-safe, with the paint intact. It also means that if you are conducting activities that disturb painted surfaces on a pre-1978 building, you must take steps to contain the paint chips and dust. There are also some prohibited renovation activities. Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program offers classes in lead-safe work practices for property owners and contractors.

For more complete information on California lead laws and regulations:

Assembly Bill 2861 (passed in 2006) increased the penalty for failing to cease an activity that creates a lead hazard after receiving an order of violation by establishing a fine of as much as $5,000 or six months in jail or both for the second order of violation.

For more information see the complete text of AB 2861. (PDF - 46kB)

The Lead-in-Construction Standard is in place to protect the health and safety of employees who engage in lead-related construction work, including construction, demolition, renovation and repair. Contractors disturbing more than 100 square feet or more than 100 linear feet of lead-containing materials must take steps to prevent worker exposures to lead and are required to notify the Department of Industrial Relations at least 24 hours prior to beginning work. For more information about Cal-OSHA Lead Regulations go to:

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California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Division 1, Chapter 8, § 35001 - 36100 Accreditation, Certification, and Work Practices for Lead-Based Paint and Lead Hazards
Title 17 requires that work on any structure built before January 1, 1978 must use lead-safe work practices including containment and clean the work area after the project is completed. The revised state law went into effect on April 30, 2008 and applies to everyone including contractors, painters, homeowners, renters, and maintenance staff. The regulations also cover accreditation of training providers and certification of individuals to perform lead abatement and sets work practice standards for lead hazard evaluations and the abatement of lead hazards.

Title 17 implements the mandates of the California Health and Safety Code regarding lead-based paint and lead hazards. Title 17 references its authority in applicable sections of the Health and Safety Code, Civil Code, Government Code, and Revenue and Taxation Code. For the complete text of the Title 17 regulation go to: Complete text of the Title 17 regulation *

Lead-Based Paint Debris Disposal
California EPA requires that presumed (pre-1978) lead-based paint chips and dust be disposed of as hazardous waste. Everyone who handles lead-based paint debris should follow several common sense measures:

  • Collect paint chips, dust, dirt, and rubble in 6-mil plastic trash bags for disposal.
  • Store larger lead-based painted building parts in containers until ready for disposal.
  • If possible, use a covered, locked, mobile dumpster to store lead-based paint debris until the job is done. Alternatively, plastic-wrapped lead-based painted debris can be kept in a locked room or yard until the job is done and the waste is ready to be disposed.
  • Contact the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program for sites where lead-based paint debris can be disposed.

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Proposition 65 - The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986
Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals with a warning label or sign.

While many exposures are associated with industrial activities or chemicals, everyday items routinely contains many chemicals. The State's list includes chemicals found in furniture, carpeting, and many building materials. Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (

To receive more information about the chemicals of concern and the levels of exposure related to a particular product's use, you should contact the manufacturer of the product. The decision to provide a Proposition 65 warning is made by the manufacturer based upon its knowledge of the types of chemical exposures it is responsible for causing to individuals.

Proposition 65 and Tableware
Proposition 65 imposes a warning requirement if exposures to lead in tableware products exceed the safe harbor level of 0.5 micrograms per day. A settlement in the early 1990s between the California Attorney General's office and several tableware manufacturers established allowable leachable concentrations of lead at 0.226 parts per million (ppm) for flatware and 0.100 ppm for all other tableware. Proposition 65 standards for lead in dishes are much stricter than the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. For more information: Frequently Asked Questions About Proposition 65

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act
This law establishes the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program within the California Department of Health Services and requires them to compile information, identify target areas and analyze information to design and implement a program of medical follow-up and environmental abatement to reduce childhood lead exposure. For more information: California Health and Safety Code 105275 to 105310

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Lead Exposure Screening
State regulations outline health care providers responsibilities for screening children for lead. For more information: California Department of Health Services - Standard of Care on Screening for Childhood Lead Poisoning.

The law requires blood lead screening for children covered by health insurance. For more information: Health & Safety Code 1367.3 to 1374.35

Clinics receiving federal assistance are required to screen children for lead. For more information:

Reporting of Blood Lead Levels
The California Health and Safety Code mandates medical laboratories to report cases of children with elevated blood lead levels to the California Department of Health Services. Since passage of SB 460 medical laboratories are required to report all blood lead levels. This information is confidential and protected under HIPPA laws. For more information: Health and Safety Code Section 124125-124165.

Lead in Children's Toys
This law prohibits the manufacture, sale or exchange of toys with lead content in excess of the amount permitted by federal regulations. For more information: Health & Safety Code 108550 to 108580.

See also the Federal laws section on Consumer Products with Lead and Recalls, below.

Lead-Safe Schools Protection Act
This law implements a lead poisoning prevention and protection program for California schools to survey and ascertain risk factors that predict lead contamination in public schools and prohibits the use of potential sources of lead contamination in public schools. For more information: Education Code 32240 to 32245.

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For more complete information see:

EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
The EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires, with some exceptions, that anyone who is conducting work for compensation that disturbs painted surfaces in pre-1978 housing to become an EPA Certified Renovator with training in lead-safety to contain paint chips and dust, work lead-safe, and clean-up all work areas. Companies must be certified by the EPA as well. For additional information, visit: Click here to watch a video about how to become certified.

Disclosure Rule - Title X Section 1018 - Disclosure of information concerning lead-based paint upon sale or lease of pre-1978 residential property
The Lead Disclosure Rule requires owners of rental properties built before 1978, and those selling pre-1978 property, to provide a lead warning statement, results of any lead testing of the property and the pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" to the tenants and/or prospective buyer. For more information:

Hazard Education Before Renovation - TSCA 406(a) and (b)
The final rule requires that renovators and remodelers notify the owner and occupants and distribute the pamphlet "Renovate Right" before beginning renovations. For more information: Pre-Renovation Lead Education Rule 406(b) regulation*

Lead-Safe Housing Rule for Federally-Assisted and Owned Housing
If you participate in a local housing authority Section 8 housing choice voucher program, (or other Federally-Assisted property) especially if your tenant has a child under six years old, the Title X Section 1012/1013 Lead Safe Housing Rule may apply to you. Under this rule you are required to fix peeling paint using lead-safe work practices in a pre-1978 building. For more information:

Consumer Products with Lead and Recalls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established rules to prohibit unsafe levels of lead in paint and in children's products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 set new standards for the safety of children's products including limits on lead content and some phthalates. The CPSC also issues recalls when products pose a lead hazard particularly to young children. For more information about the CPSA rule on children's products containing lead go to

For more information on CPSC recalls visit their website:

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For a list of agencies in Alameda County that may be able to help, please select the following link:

Laws & Regulations Resource List

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