Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Rules for Lead Poisoning Prevention

In Wisconsin, a number of statutes and rules have been enacted to regulate activities having to do with hazards from lead-based paint.  These govern residential facilities, worker protection, landlord and tenant agreements, housing sales, lead hazard reduction, drinking water, reporting of blood lead test results, and public health response to lead poisoning.

Two revisions to state lead regulations in Wis. Stat. ch. 254, Environmental Health, were recently passed in the 2016-17 Wisconsin budget bill.

Revised definition of lead-bearing paint.   

Effective July 14, 2015, the definition of lead-bearing paint in Wis. Stat. §254.11 (8) was revised to read, “Lead-bearing paint means any paint or other surface coating material containing more than 0.06% lead by weight, calculated as lead metal, in the total nonvolatile content of liquid paint, more than 0.5 percent lead by weight in the dried film of applied paint, or more than 1 milligram of lead per square centimeter in the dried film of applied paint.” [revisions in bold] 

Increased civil penalty authority.

Violations of the lead statute, rules promulgated, or orders issued under the statute increased from a maximum penalty of $1,000 per violation to a maximum penalty of $5,000 per violation.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under its regulations requires EPA-authorized states to have a maximum penalty authority for any violation in an amount no less than $5,000 per violation per day.  With this revision the Department of Health Services lead program is now in compliance with EPA requirements for authorized states.


Information on this page has been organized into two categories.  Please choose one of the following tabs.



Wisconsin Statute Chapter 254.  Environmental Health (PDF).  Describes public health and other responsibilities for detection, treatment and response to lead hazard exposure.

Wisconsin Statute Chapter 704.  Landlord and Tenant (PDF).  Describes the conditions under which a tenant may move without incurring liability due to untenantability, including conditions that are hazardous to health (704.07(4)). 

Wisconsin Statute Chapter 709.  Disclosures by Owners of Residential Real Estate (PDF, 71 KB).

Administrative Rules

Administrative Rule DHS 163.  Certification for the Identification, Removal, and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint (PDF, 374 KB).  Amended in 2009 to regulate renovation, repair and painting activities that may disturb lead-based paint.  You can read  Wisconsin's Lead-Safe Renovation Rule page to learn how it affects contractors working in housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978.

Administrative Rule DHS 181.  Reporting of Blood Lead Test Results (PDF).

Administrative Rule DHS 182.  Lead Poisoning or Lead Exposure Prevention Grants (PDF).

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Last Revised: March 1, 2018