Ohio Lead Law

Ohio’s Lead Law is found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 3742: Lead Abatement. The most recent amendments became effective on 4/7/03. Enforcement of the amended law began in 2004. A five-year rule review of administrative rules was completed in November 2014.

Key Features of the Law

Lead Poisoning Definition

“Lead poisoning” means a confirmed level of lead in human blood of five micrograms per deciliter or greater (see ORC Chapter 3701-30-01, Definitions).

Blood Lead Screening

Primary health care providers must determine:

  • If the child has had a blood lead screening test.
  • If the child has had a blood lead screening test, determine at what age the child was tested and the blood lead screening test result.
  • If the child has not had a blood lead screening test and is between the ages of nine months and seventy-two months, determine if the child is at risk of lead poisoning.
  • If any child under six years of age is determined to be at risk of lead poisoning but has not had a blood lead screening test or has had a blood lead screening test but the results are not available, the primary health care provider shall order a blood lead screening test.
  • It is recommended that a child at risk of lead poisoning have a blood lead screening test at the time of the child’s one and two year well child visits and annually thereafter as medically indicated (see Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3701-30-02).

Screening Tests

Blood lead screening tests of children at risk of lead poisoning shall be conducted either by:

Child “at risk” of lead poisoning

A “child at risk of lead poisoning” means any child under six years of age who meets one or more of the following:

  • Is Medicaid eligible
  • Lives in a high risk zip code
  • Lives in or regularly visits a residential unit, child care facility, or school built before 1950
  • Lives in or regularly visits a residential unit built before 1978 that has peeling, chipping, dusting, or chalking paint
  • Lives in or regularly visits a residential unit built before 1978 with recent ongoing or planned renovation or remodeling
  • Has a sibling or playmate that has or did have lead poisoning
  • Frequently comes in contact with an adult who has a lead-related hobby, or occupation

See ORC 3701-30-01 Definitions.

Screening requirements for Medicaid eligible children

All 12- and 24-month-old Medicaid-eligible children must have a blood lead screening test (regardless of ZIP code or exposure to lead). For more information on Ohio’s Medicaid Program and lead screening, see:

Licensed Professionals

The law covers licensing and monitoring of lead professionals and trainers (including lead safe renovation) and enforcement. The law covers the following:

  • Establishes licensing requirements for clearance technicians, a category of professionals who perform examinations to determine whether lead hazards have been sufficiently controlled in projects other than lead abatement.
  • Creates Lead Safe Renovator classification in state law. Prohibits a person from using lead-safe renovation instead of a lead abatement on a property at which a lead-poisoned child has been identified.
  • Requires the Director of Health to establish a program to monitor and audit the quality of work of lead hazard control professionals and permits the Director to refer improper work discovered to the Attorney General for appropriate action.
  • Permits the Director to issue an immediate cease work order if a license holder’s activities endanger the health or well-being of certain persons.
  • Permits a board of health to request the commencement of criminal prosecutions for violations of the laws on licensure of lead hazard control professionals.

Source: Final Bill Analysis 002-hb248-124


A “Public health lead investigation” means an investigation conducted by a public health lead investigator in accordance with rule 3701-30-07 of the Administrative Code” (from Definitions, Lead Abatement, Chapter 3742).

As part of the investigation, the director or board may review the records and reports, if any, maintained by a lead inspector, lead abatement contractor, lead risk assessor, lead abatement project designer, lead abatement worker, or clearance technician.

Based on the review of known records and reports and the completion of the comprehensive questionnaire the public health lead investigator shall do the following as appropriate:

  • Visual assessment of the residential unit, child care facility, or school recording findings on a form prescribed by the Director;
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of deteriorated paint on or in: (i) Interior surfaces, exterior surfaces, and common areas of the residential unit, child care facility, or school; and (ii) Attached or unattached structures located within the same lot line as the residential unit, child care facility, or school, including garages, play equipment, and fences;
  • Other non-property samples (e.g. glazed dinnerware, ceramic cookware, toys, folk remedies, etc.) for analysis as deemed necessary to determine a possible source of lead poisoning.” (from Ohio Administrative Code, 3701-30-07 Public health lead investigations)

Risk Assessments

Lead risk assessment means an on-site investigation to determine and report the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead hazards in a residential unit, child care facility, or school. It includes visual inspection, limited wipe sampling or other environmental sampling techniques. A copy of the public health lead investigation report is provided to the child’s parent or guardian.

If the risk assessor determines lead hazards in a residential unit, child care facility, or school are contributing to a child’s lead poisoning, ODH or the local board of health will issue a lead hazard control order.

Lead Abatement

“Lead abatement” means a measure or set of measures designed for the single purpose of permanently eliminating lead hazards. “Lead abatement” includes all of the (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) following:

  • Removal of lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust;
  • Permanent enclosure or encapsulation of lead-based paint;
  • Replacement of surfaces or fixtures painted with lead-based paint;
  • Removal or permanent covering of lead-contaminated soil;

Preparation, cleanup, and disposal activities associated with lead abatement; “Lead abatement” does not include any of the following:

  • Preventative treatments performed pursuant to section 3742.41 of the Revised Code;
  • Implementation of interim controls;
  • Activities performed by a property owner on a residential unit to which both of the following apply: (i) It is a freestanding single-family home used as the property owner’s private residence; (ii) No child under six years of age who has lead poisoning resides in the unit.

See OAC 3701-30-01, Definitions.

Lead Orders

A lead hazard control order describes each lead hazard to be controlled and the date by which the property must pass a clearance examination. Owners have 90 days from their receipt of the lead hazard control order to pass clearance. If the health of occupants is at risk, they may be ordered to vacate the property until the property passes a clearance examination.

The order must be given to the owner and manager of the unit, facility or school. Occupants of each unit receive a copy and each parent, guardian or custodian of each child under six (in the case of a school or child care facility) receives a copy.

See OAC 3701-30-09 Lead hazard control order for additional information.

Refusal to Comply with a Lead Order

If the owner/manager (of a residential unit, child care facility, or school) refuses to comply with a lead hazard control, ODH or the local board of health will issue an order prohibiting the owner/manager from using the housing, child care facility, or school until the unit, facility, or school passes a clearance examination.

“Clearance examination” means an examination to determine whether the lead hazards in a residential unit, child care facility, or school have been sufficiently controlled. A clearance examination includes a visual assessment, collection and analysis of environmental samples”. See OAC 3701-32-12 Clearance Examinations for additional information.

Owner/manager is required to notify each occupant (of a residential unit) and the parent, guardian, or custodian of each child attending the facility or school (in the case of a child care facility or school) to vacate the unit, facility, or school until the unit, facility, or school passes a clearance examination.

ODH or the local board shall post a sign at the unit, facility, or school that the property has a lead hazard, and include a declaration that the unit, facility, or school is unsafe for human occupation, especially for children under six years of age and pregnant women. See ORC 3742.40, Prohibiting use of unit, facility or school.

For more information on “Refusal to Comply”, see OAC Chapter 3701-30-11 Refusal to comply.

Unsafe Work Practices

The following unsafe work practices are prohibited:

  • Open flame burning or torching;
  • Machine sanding or grinding without a HEPA local vacuum exhaust tool;
  • Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without a HEPA local vacuum exhaust tool;
  • Use of a heat gun operating above one thousand one hundred degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Charring paint;
  • Dry sanding;
  • Dry scraping, except when done as follows:
  • In conjunction with a heat gun operating at not more than one thousand one hundred degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Within one foot of an electrical outlet;
  • To treat defective paint spots totaling not more than two square feet in an interior room or space or twenty square feet on an exterior surface.
  • Uncontained hydroblasting or high-pressure washing;
  • Paint stripping in a poorly ventilated space using a volatile stripper that is considered a hazardous substance under 16 C.F.R. 1500.3 or a hazardous chemical under 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200 or 29 C.F.R. 1926.59 in the type of work being performed.

See ORC 3742.44 Unsafe Work Practices for more information. Note the above list of prohibited unsafe work practices is more stringent than the list of prohibited unsafe work practices in the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on page 23 of the Small Entity Compliance Guide.

Essential Maintenance Practices

  • Essential maintenance practices are a set of procedures that keep all painted surfaces in a lead-safe condition and reduce the possibility of exposure to lead hazards.
  • They consist of work practices to maintain the painted surfaces of the property and a system of record keeping that documents the required maintenance for the property.
  • Essential maintenance practices can be performed by an individual licensed as a lead abatement project designer, lead abatement contractor or a lead abatement worker, or by an individual who successfully completed an essential maintenance practices training course.

  • Unfortunately, at this time, there are no state-approved training firms offering the essential maintenance practices course in Ohio.

For more information on essential maintenance practices, see OAC 3701-32-17

Legal Presumption

  • The law provides that a residential unit, child day-care facility, or school constructed before 1950 is “legally presumed” not to contain a lead hazard and not to be the source of an individual’s lead poisoning if the property owner or manager implements preventive treatments, which include the performance of essential maintenance practices.
  • The “legal presumption” is also referred to as “rebuttable presumption”.

For more information, see ORC Chapter 3742.41, presumptions relative to property constructed prior to 1-1-50).

Assistance with Lead Hazards

A Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund can be found in ORC Chapter 3742. It’s purpose is to provide “… financial assistance to individuals who are unable to pay for either of the following: (1) Costs associated with obtaining lead tests and lead poisoning treatment for treatment for children under six years of age who are not covered by private medical insurance or are under insured, are not eligible for the medicaid program or any other government health program, and do not have access to another source of funds to cover the costs of lead tests and any indicated treatments; (2) Costs associated with having lead hazard control performed or having the preventive treatments specified in section 3742.41 of the Revised Code.” See ORC 3701-30-12 Lead poisoning prevention fund for additional information.

No state funds have ever been appropriated to the Lead Fund. However, the Ohio Department of Health currently administers a HUD Lead Hazard Control grant that covers 16 Ohio counties, providing remediation of lead hazards through control or abatement procedures, and healthy homes treatments. Other areas of the state may have HUD Lead Hazard Control grants as well. Look up your county in the Directory Lead, Home Repair and Healthy Housing Resources to find out if this type of assistance is available.

Advisory Council

The Ohio Lead Advisory Council was established under Chapter 3701 to provide assistance to the childhood lead poisoning prevention program….”including but not limited to providing advice on the adoption, amendment or rescission of administrative rules rules, policies, preferred methods of financing the program, the program’s strategic plan for eliminating childhood lead poisoning and other issues of relevance to the child lead poisoning prevention program.”

The Ohio Healthy Homes Network (formerly Help End Lead Poisoning) is a statutory member of the Council. See ORC 3701-30-13, Ohio lead advisory council for more information.


The Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection in the Office of Health Assurance and Licensing is responsible for the Ohio Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OHHLPPP). The Ohio Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program handles lead surveillance, education and prevention, public health lead investigations and lead licensing as well as asbestos licensing and radon education and licensing.

For More Information

  • The Ohio Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Program site has information for parents, homeowners and tenants, and pregnant women; data and statistics; high risk zip codes; regulations; resources and links to related sites.
  • The licensing area has information pertaining to licensure, approved trainers and courses, laboratories, encapsulants, and other helpful information. The site allows users to search a data base.

Sources Cited in “Ohio’s Lead Law”

OAC Regulations on Screening, Investigations and Reporting
OAC Chapter 3701-32 Lead Hazard Abatement and Inspection Activities
ORC Chapter 3742 Lead Abatement

Final Bill Analysis 002-hb248-124


Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Mailing Address:
Ohio Department of Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
35 East Chestnut Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Lead Poisoning Program
Telephone: (614) 466-5332 or 1-877-LEADSAFE (532-3723)

Licensing Program:
Telephone: (877) 668-5323 or (614) 466-1450
E-mail: lead@odh.ohio.gov

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as professional or expert advice. No recipients of content from this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate professional or expert advice.