Maine renters can now check an online registry to learn whether a property is free of harmful lead paint.
The new feature was launched Monday on the statewide housing registry MaineHousingSearch.org. Renters can search whether a property is either free of lead paint, maintained using best practices for lead hazard prevention, or inspected by a licensed lead professional. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection evaluates each property before its lead status is posted to the site.
The new feature was made available to landlords in September. The status of approximately 900 lead-safe properties, most of which are currently vacant, have been listed so far.
MaineHousingSearch.org is free online rental listings service that was launched in 2009 by the Maine State Housing Authority and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The registry, which is open to all Maine renters and landlords, added a smoke-free housing search option in 2011.
Maine has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation, and more than 100 children are poisoned by lead in the state each year, most commonly by dust from lead-based paint. Lead can cause brain and hearing damage, behavioral problems and learning disabilities, especially in young children.
Visit maine.gov/healthyhomes to learn more about preventing lead poisoning, testing for lead dust, and how to renovate, repair, paint and perform other home projects safely.