Updates to Sanitary Code regarding Housing

In 2019, a second round of public hearings on amendments to regulation 105 CMR 410.000 – Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation was held.  Learn more about the draft regulations.
Health Resources in Action led a group of healthy housing advocates including the Public Health Institute of Western MA and the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition in comments on the new draft regulations.

In 2017, The Department of Public Health held  public hearings on proposed amendments to State Sanitary Code regulating Housing on October 4, 2017 in Northampton, MA. This is the only hearing in Western Massachusetts.  Proposed changes include mechanical ventilation and integrated pest management requirements for buildings with 4 or more units.

Testimony on Sanitary Code Updates

 MA to Strengthen Lead Poisoning Law

In June 2015, the Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative wrote a letter to the chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Health– Representative Kate Hogan and Senator Jason Lewis- to acknowledge Bill H.2049.  In this letter, we suggested that rather than allow municipalities to establish their own definition of lead safety, they consider adopting a single statewide blood lead level threshold- such as five or ten milligrams per deciliter- that is more in line with current thought.

In 2012, the CDC lowered its “level of concern” from 10 µg/dL to 5 µg/dL, where they recommend public health actions be initiated.  Currently, MA intervenes at 25 µg/dL; however, the proposed bill will lower the “Blood lead level of concern” to between 5 and 10 micrograms per deciliter in children under 6 years of age.

In June 2017, the Bill was discharged to the committee on Health Care Financing.  Details on the status of the bill can be found here. 

Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report entitled 10 Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure. Click here to view findings and download the report.