Lead Poisoning: Information for Building Owners

Dust from lead paint is the most commonly identified source of childhood lead poisoning. New York City banned lead paint for residential use in 1960, but many older buildings may still have lead paint.

Landlords of multi-unit buildings with young children must address lead paint hazards by investigating their properties for any underlying conditions and safely making repairs.


New Lead in Dust Standards

As of June 12, 2019, the new lead in dust standards are:

  • Floors: 10 mcg/ft2
  • Window Sills: 50 mcg/ft2
  • Window Wells: 100 mcg/ft2

For more information about the new standards, review the new requirement guidance for lead in dust (PDF), or email safework@health.nyc.gov with the subject "New lead in dust standards".


New Lead-Based Paint Standards

As of July 20, 2019, the Health Department's new lead-based paint standards are: 0.5 mg/cm2 or 0.25% by weight for investigations conducted in response to a child who was reported to have a blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL or higher.

For more information about the new standards, review the new requirement guidance for lead in paint (PDF), or email safework@health.nyc.gov with the subject "New lead in paint standards".

NYC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004)

If you own or manage a multi-dwelling building (three or more apartments) built before 1960 (or, in some cases, between 1960 and 1978), you must:

  • Find out if a child age 5 or younger lives or routinely spends 10 or more hours per week in any of the apartments in the building. You must give tenants an annual notice (PDF) each January and with each new lease that asks if a child lives or spends time in the apartment.
    • For any apartments where a child lives or routinely spends 10 or more hours per week, you must inspect those apartments for lead paint hazards each year.

  • Use lead safe work practices and trained workers when fixing lead paint hazards and when doing general repair work that disturbs lead paint.

  • Hire firms certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when disturbing more than 100 square feet of lead paint, replacing windows or fixing violations issued by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

  • Repair lead paint hazards before a new tenant moves into an apartment.

  • Keep records of all notices, inspections, repairs of lead paint hazards and other matters related to the law.

  • Give a copy of the clearance dust wipe results to the tenant after the post-work clean-up is completed.

  • Include a notice about owner responsibilities under the law with each lease and provide the Health Department pamphlet Lead Paint Hazards in the Home (PDF) to inform occupants about lead.

Fax reports for the commencement of work and submission of lead dust samples to 347-396-8926.

Annual Notice Requirements for Landlords

Landlords are required to send the annual notice (PDF) to tenants between January 1 and January 15 of each year. You can send the notice by first-class mail or deliver it in person. You can also include it with the January rent bill, but only if the bill is delivered between December 15 and January 16.

If the tenant does not return the form or refuses you access and you cannot get into the apartment to inspect and make any necessary repairs by March 1, you must inform the Health Department by writing to:

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene — Healthy Homes
125 Worth Street, Sixth Floor, CN58
New York, NY 10013

See Local Law 1 (PDF) for details about what information you must include in the letter.

Lead Safe Work Methods

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. To follow safe work practices:

  • Do not 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 and 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.

For more information on lead safe work methods, call 311 or register for a lead safe work practice class.

Federal Regulations

The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule took effect in 2010. For more information about the rule, call 732-321-6671. You must also still comply with all NYC local requirements, including Local Law 1 of 2004 and all pertinent Health Code requirements.

Federally Funded Grants for Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes

Owners of residential buildings that were constructed before 1960 can receive federally-funded grants to help pay for the reduction of lead paint hazards and other health risks in their buildings.

The grants are intended to help building owners prevent lead poisoning, especially in children. They cannot be used to address violations issued by the Health Department.

Required Forms and Instructions

More Information