Policy Update

Delaware Passes First in Nation Ban on Outdoor Lead-Based Paint



NCEL Point of Contact


In August, Delaware became the first state to ban outdoor lead-based paint. While consumer use of lead-based paint was federally banned four decades ago, many are surprised to learn that the use of lead-based paint for industrial and outdoor structures is still permitted under federal rules. Recognizing this regulatory oversight, Rep. Earl Jaques sponsored the precedent-setting bill, HB 456, which passed the legislature unanimously.

Lead exposure is linked to numerous harmful health impacts, such as brain and kidney damage and slowed child development. HB 456 safeguards public health by prohibiting the use of lead-based paint on all outdoor structures such as bridges, playground equipment, highways, and parking lots. The bill also requires the Department of Natural Resources to develop regulations to remove existing lead paint on outdoor structures.

Delaware’s bill is particularly pertinent in the face of continued concern over lead contamination across the country, especially in schools.