About Lead Orders
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) or a delegated health department issues lead hazard control orders after an investigation that determines the source of lead in a child’s blood.
- The process begins with a public health lead investigation of the child’s primary residence or other residential units, child care facilities or schools where they spend more than six (6) hours per week and a lead risk assessment to determine the specific location of the lead hazards.
- The owner of the property is issued a Lead Hazard Control Order that requires the owner to control the lead hazards identified in the report and to pass a clearance examination of the property within a specific time period.
- If the lead hazards have been controlled using an acceptable method of control and the property passes a clearance examination, the Lead Hazard Control Orders are lifted on the property.
- If the owner fails to comply, a second Lead Order is issued that prohibits the owner using the property as a residential unit, day care facility, or school. A placard must be posted on the property that warns the public that the property is unsafe for human occupation.
- However, under ORC 3742.40, owners who keep their properties vacant and placarded even after receiving a second Lead Order are considered to be in compliance. The properties may be out of compliance, however, with local building codes due to the condition of the property.
- The lead order remains with the property even if the property is sold to a new owner.
What agency issues lead orders?
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is responsible for issuing lead hazard control orders in 83 of Ohio’s 88 counties, including portions of Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Stark counties. In the remaining five counties, all major metropolitan areas of the state, delegated health departments are responsible for issuing lead hazard control orders. For example, the Cleveland Department of Public Health and Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are delegate agencies.
How can I check to see if a property has an outstanding lead order?
Because lead hazard control orders are usually not available on health departments’ websites, the information must be requested from the agency responsible for writing orders for the particular geographic area. If you would like more information about a particular property, contact the agency issuing the orders. Information on local health departments Is available on the Ohio Department of Health website. If the state issued the orders, contact the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Lead Poisoning Prevention at 1-877-LEADSAFE (532-3723)
Why can’t I do a title search for outstanding lead orders?
Though lead orders remain with properties when they’re sold, Ohio law is silent as to whether the Ohio Department of Health or its delegated health departments have the authority to record lead orders on property titles. Therefore, the Ohio Department of Health and most of its delegates do not to record lead orders on property titles. Without easy access to this information, it is possible to unknowingly purchase or lease a property that has an outstanding lead order. The Ohio Department of Health and its delegates post “Not to Occupy” placards on properties with lead orders after all legally allowed extensions have been exhausted.
Some rental owners tear down the placards and rent or sell properties with “Not to Occupy” placards. Homeowners have been known to continue living in a “Not to Occupy” property – often due to inability to pay for the necessary work and/or having no other place to live. They also have been known to sell placarded properties to unsuspecting buyers.