About the Lead-Free/Lead-Safe Registry
The Lead-Free/Lead-Safe Registry is a listing of housing (single-family and apartments) and child-occupied facilities such as day cares, that meet the lead-free or lead-safe property standards established by rule. The Lead-Free/Lead-Safe Registry is maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS, or the Department).
- The lead-free standard is met when no lead paint is present anywhere on the interior of the building or unit, or the exterior of the property, or, in any common areas if a rental property.
- The lead-safe standard is met when no lead-based paint hazards are present on the interior of the building or unit, or the exterior of the property, or, any common areas if a rental building.
A lead hazard is present if lead-based paint is deteriorated (chipping, flaking, peeling, chalking, or cracked), or is present on friction or impact surfaces such as windows, doors, drawers, and floors where it is subject to friction, abrasion or rubbing.
How to enter the Lead-Free Registry
Property may receive a Lead-Free Certificate and be entered into the Registry if a lead-free inspection determines no lead-based paint is present. The first step is to hire a certified lead risk assessor to conduct a lead inspection. Owners are responsible for the cost of the inspection including covering the cost of the $50 registration fee.
Lead inspections include surface by surface testing throughout the property to determine the presence or absence of lead-based paint. The property owner should have some idea if the property is likely to meet the standards for lead-free (or lead-safe) certification and the lead professional should talk to the owner about the likelihood of lead-based paint being found on the property before beginning work.
Generally, the older the property, the more likely it is that lead-based paint will be found. Properties built after 1960 are less likely to contain lead-based paint than those built before 1960. Nearly all properties built before 1930 in Wisconsin contain some lead-based paint, either on the exterior or interior, or both. A property that is not eligible for a lead-free certificate may still qualify for a lead-safe certificate if all paint is in good condition and windows have been replaced or treated to eliminate lead hazards.
If the inspection finds no lead-based paint on the property, the inspection information will be entered into the Departments online database, called the Wisconsin Asbestos and Lead Database Online, or WALDO. The Department reviews the submitted information and confirms the property is eligible for a lead-free certificate. WALDO then assigns a unique registration number to the property and it is entered into the Registry as a certified lead-free property.
How to enter the Lead-Safe Registry
Property may receive a Lead-Safe Certificate and be entered into the Registry if a lead-safe investigation determines no lead-based paint hazard is present. The first step is to hire a certified lead professional (lead hazard investigator or risk assessor) to conduct a lead investigation. Owners are responsible for the cost of the investigation including covering the cost of the $25 registration fee.
Lead-safe investigations include a full visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the property to look for deteriorated paint, painted friction and impact surfaces such as windows, doors, hard floors and stairs, as well as sampling for lead dust hazards, and limited paint sampling or testing. To save money, the property owner should have some idea if the property is in good condition and likely to meet a lead-safe standard before hiring the professional to conduct the investigation.
Lead-safe certificates come in various lengths of validity, from 9-months to 20-years, depending on the location of the lead-based paint on the property. Generally, lead-based paint on friction and impact surfaces such as windows and floors only qualifies for shorter certificates while lead-based paint in good condition on ceilings and walls or fully enclosed will qualify for longer lead-safe certificate periods.
If the lead-safe investigation finds no lead-based paint hazard on the property, the investigation information will be entered into the Department's online database, called the Wisconsin Asbestos and Lead Database Online, or WALDO. The Department reviews the submitted information and confirms the property is eligible for a lead-safe certificate. WALDO then assigns a unique registration number to the property and it is entered into the Registry as a certified lead-safe property.
Certificate of lead-free or lead-safe status
After the Department confirms eligibility, the lead professional issues the appropriate certificate of lead-free or lead-safe status to the property owner. The certificate lists the following information:
- Effective Date: This date designates when the property was determined by DHS to meet the registered lead-free property standards under section DHS 163.41, Wis. Administrative Code, or the lead-safe property standard under section DHS 163.42, Wis. Administrative Code.
- Expiration Date:
- Lead-free certificates do not expire.
- Lead-safe certificates list an expiration date after which the property will no longer be certified lead-safe. To re-certify, another lead-safe investigation would need to be conducted and a new lead-safe certificate would need to be issued.
- Property Location: The address and specific building unit(s) covered by the lead-safe certificate. (A certificate may cover only a single unit and common areas in a multi-unit building.)
- Property Description: Lists all common areas included in the certificate. Examples of areas include: laundry rooms, hallways, porches, garages or sheds.
- Property Owner or Designated Representative: A telephone number and contact person, if listed, indicates where questions about the property may be directed.
- Issuing Company: The DHS-certified lead company that conducted the lead-free inspection or lead-safe investigation.
- Certificate Number: unique number assigned by DHS to the listed property.
- Questionnaire Number: DHS assigns this unique number to identify the qualifying questionnaire submitted by the DHS-certified lead company.
Immunity, Conditions and Restrictions
The lead-free or lead-safe certificate provides the property owner and his employees and agents immunity from civil and criminal liability for lead poisonings at the covered property. The immunity does not apply if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that one of the following has occurred:
- The owner or his or her employee or agent obtained the certificate by fraud.
- The owner or his or her employee or agent violated a condition of the certificate.
- During renovation, remodeling, maintenance or repair after receiving the certificate the owner or his or her employee or agent created a lead-bearing paint hazard that was present in the dwelling or unit of the dwelling at the time that the lead poisoning or lead exposure occurred.
- The owner or his or her employee or agent failed to respond in a timely manner to notification by a tenant, by the department or by a local health department that a lead-bearing paint hazard might be present.
- A source of lead in the dwelling or unit of the dwelling other than lead-bearing paint caused the lead poisoning or lead exposure.
The property owner or a tenant living on the premises can find the current status of a lead-free or lead-safe certificate on the Web or call 608-261-6876.