North Carolina Lead Law
Background on the Preventative Maintenance Program
In 1997, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the Childhood Lead Exposure Control Act that established a new lead-based paint Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP). The PMP is a voluntary housing maintenance standard that encourages lead-safe renovation, remodeling, and maintenance in rental housing built before 1978. Property owners participating in the PMP receive liability relief from potential lead poisoning litigation. To participate in the PMP, owners must maintain their property in accordance with specific standards developed to prevent lead poisoning, provide written material to tenants on preventing lead poisoning, and verify compliance through an annual onsite monitoring inspection.
Owners seeking to comply with the PMP must take the actions listed below:
1. Conduct annual visual inspection for deteriorated paint inside the dwelling unit. If deteriorated paint is a found, repair and repaint the area with deterioration (including correcting the causes of deterioration).
2. Adjust doors and windows to minimize friction that may create lead-contaminated dust.
3. Use specialized cleaning methods inside the unit to remove lead-contaminated dust.
4. Make horizontal interior surfaces smooth and easy to clean. Owners may be required to re-coat deteriorated hardwood floors, replace or recover worn out linoleum floors, repair and repaint inside window sills, and/or cover window troughs with vinyl or aluminum.
5. Provide occupants with the EPA pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home. Owners must also provide tenants written information on the PMP and any previous lead evaluation efforts.
6. If the unit was built before 1950, the owner must repair and repaint exterior deteriorated paint, correct the cause of paint deterioration, and cover bare soil within three feet of the building foundation (e.g., cover with grass or mulch).
7. Verify compliance with the PMP standard through an annual onsite monitoring inspection conducted by a certified lead inspector or risk assessor. The inspection has two core elements. First, inspectors perform a visual assessment to document the following:
a. All paint is intact;
b. Floors and windows have smooth and easy to clean surfaces (e.g., window troughs are covered with vinyl or aluminum); and
c. There are no friction or impact areas producing lead dust.
Second, inspectors collect dust samples to document that lead levels are below state standards (100 micrograms per square foot (μg/sf²) on floors, 500 μg/sf² on window sills, and 800 μg/sf² on window troughs). If a unit passes the monitoring inspection, owners receive a Certificate of Compliance, which must be renewed annually through a monitoring inspection.
Owners are encouraged though not required to attend a workshop on lead safety precautions during building renovation and maintenance.