Lead Laws

Lead has been used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. These homes come in different shapes, sizes, and locations. Lead can be found in the city, country, or suburbs; in apartments and single-family homes; and in both private and public housing. Lead-based paint was commonly used on the interiors as well as the exteriors of houses and apartments. Read more to protect yourself and your family from lead in the home.

Childhood lead poisoning affects thousands of Ohio children each year. The most common source of lead poisoning for children in Ohio is deteriorating lead-based paint and lead dust in homes built before 1978.

The ODH lead program has funding to remove lead paint hazards from homes built before 1978. This program is statewide and available in every Ohio County. The goal is to help protect families with Medicaid-eligible children and/or Medicaid-eligible pregnant women against the dangers of lead paint hazards. ODH and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) have been provided with State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) funding for lead paint hazard testing and removal. 9 million dollars have currently been provided for this program. Services are available for as long as funding is available,

Back in 2019, Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin told 19 Action News, “Since 2015, Ohio Department of Health records show 4,500 children have been poisoned by lead. Those numbers, however, could be higher because many children aren’t tested for lead.” One reason for the high numbers could be old homes with lead-based paint. Many Clevelanders rent those homes.

A new lead poisoning prevention law is starting with landlords. “We didn’t want to make this voluntary. We wanted to make this mandatory. We wanted to legislate this, codify this,” Griffin said.

Most of the new laws have gone into effect starting in the spring of this year and include requiring landlords to pay for private inspections and have lead-safe certificates. If they don’t comply, the city can issue tickets, fines, and even charge a landlord with a misdemeanor. “Landlords and everybody else will know that this is the culture of Cleveland. You’re going to make sure that you do this for our community,” said Griffin

The city will also help landlords who don’t make a lot of money. Two million dollars over two years was given to Cleveland to help landlords with things like being able to afford lead testing. At the end of the day, everybody wants to protect family members and more importantly children by providing safe and lead-free housing for tenants in the City of Cleveland.

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