Philadelphia might inspect apartments for lead paint

Philadelphia property owners are lining up against a Council bill that would tighten the rules for renting apartments that have lead paint.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to cut down on the exposure of youth to lead paint by mandating all rental properties where children live get inspected and certified. She says 1,100 children were poisoned by lead in the city last year. In 2009 that number was 2,500.

“What we know medically is that when this happens to children there is irreversible damage to in terms of learning delays and it is very hard to diagnose,” said Brown.

Christine Young Gertz of the Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia says existing regulations have dramatically cut down cases of lead poisoning.

“With regard to education and disclosure and notice requirements and with very stringent requirements for procedures for any renovation repair or maintenance that’s required on at the property,” said Gertz.

Instead of just notifying renters about the presence of lead, the legislation would require landlords to remove it or make sure it’s safely enclosed behind non-lead paint.

That work would have to be inspected and certified.

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