What is the “lead-safe” certificate and how does it differ from other designations (i.e. “lead-free” and “lead-hazard free)? Can they be used interchangeably?

Pursuant to N.J.A.C 5:28A-2.4, lead-safe certificates are issued to properties that are found to not have interior lead-based paint hazards after undergoing periodic inspection. This includes the unit itself and common areas, such as hallways or entrances. 

Pursuant to NJ A.C. 5:17-3.6(b), a lead-free certificate is issued to properties that have no lead-based paint on any surface within the unit, common area, or building. 

Also outlined in NJ A.C. 5:17 is lead-hazard free certification, which does not meet the ordinance requirements as per the exemption guidelines in N.J.A.C. 5:28A-1.3(b). After inspection and risk assessment, properties can be deemed “lead-hazard free” in the absence of any condition that causes exposure to lead (i.e. lead-contaminated dust, soil, or paint). 

Princeton’s municipal inspectors have the training and authority to issue lead-safe certificates, valid for (2) years. Obtaining a lead-free certificate from a certified lead evaluation contractor would exempt a property from the inspections under this ordinance and is valid for life. Lead-hazard free certification does not meet the requirements for exemption. Such properties would still need to be inspected to obtain a lead-safe certificate every (2) years. 

Summary of Lead Certificates

Lead SafeLead-FreeLead-Hazard Free
DefinitionProperty does not have interior lead-based paint hazards at periodic inspection Property is completely free of lead paint Property does not have conditions that can cause lead exposure (i.e. contaminated dust, soil, paint) 
Meets ordinance requirements?
How to ObtainRequest inspection from municipal inspector OR hire a certified lead evaluation contractor.Hire a certified lead evaluation contractor.
Method of Inspection
Visual assessment or dust wipe sampling 
XRF Machine 
(identifies the presence of lead paint) 

Valid for...2 yearsLife 
(exempt from lead-safe inspections) 
NOT valid for this ordinance, property subject to inspection every (2) years 

Show All Answers

1. What is P.L.2021, c.182, The Lead-Based Paint Inspection Law?
2. What housing is exempt from these lead-based paint inspections?
3. What is lead-based paint and why is it hazardous?
4. What method/procedure do municipal inspectors in Princeton use to deem a property “lead-safe”?
5. What is the difference between a visual inspection and dust wipe sampling?
6. What is the “lead-safe” certificate and how does it differ from other designations (i.e. “lead-free” and “lead-hazard free)? Can they be used interchangeably?
7. When must the first inspection take place?
8. How often must these inspections take place?
9. What are the fees associated with this inspection?
10. Do I have to utilize the municipal inspectors to obtain a “lead-safe” certificate?
11. What can I do as a property owner/landlord to prepare for the enactment of this ordinance?
12. What if my property fails the lead-safe inspection?
13. What is the difference between interim controls and abatement?
14. Who can perform lead remediation work?
15. Is there funding to assist property owners with lead remediation work?
16. What are the penalties for property owners that fail to comply with this ordinance?
17. Which lead remediation method do I have to use?
18. The lead-based hazards identified in the inspection have been remediated. What happens now?
19. As a tenant, how do I know if the unit I am renting or plan to rent has been certified lead-safe?
20. What steps are taken if the unit I am renting does not pass lead-safe inspection?
21. If lead-based paint hazards have been identified in my unit, what actions do I need to take to protect my health?
22. If a property is completely gutted and renovated, how does that property get exempted from lead-safe inspections?