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Clearance tells us if a unit is safe for occupancy. It involves:

Qualifications. A certified risk assessor, certified lead-based paint inspector, or certified lead sampling technician must perform clearance. Sampling technicians are not authorized to perform clearance after abatement and must always work in accordance with state law.

Passing Clearance. If the test results equal or exceed the designated standards, the dwelling unit, worksite, or common area fails the clearance examination. Clearance standards are based on lead in dust, as measured by a dust wipe sample, and are:

  • Floors - 40 µg/ft² (micrograms per square foot)
  • Interior window sills - 250 µg/ft²
  • Window troughs - 400 µg/ft²

Failing Clearance. If a unit fails clearance; it must be re-cleaned and clearance must be performed again in the area represented by the clearance sample.

Clearance exemptions. Clearance is not required:

  • If a maintenance, rehabilitation, or Lead Hazard Reduction activity at a worksite does not disturb painted surfaces or disturbs only paint that is known NOT to be lead-based paint.
  • If the total area of painted surfaces disturbed does not exceed the following:
    • 20ft² on exterior surfaces;
    • 2ft² in any one interior room or space; or
    • 10% of the total surface on an interior or exterior type of component with a small surface area like window sills, baseboards, and trim.

Avoid Conflicts of Interest. If a grantee, subrecipient, or property owner uses in-house employees to perform the lead-hazard reduction or maintenance work, in-house employees may conduct the clearance, as long as the same employee does not do both. If an outside party is hired, the parties conducting the reduction activities and the clearance must be independent of each other.