Dumb Laws Piss Me Off

So I was talking to my Dad the other night and he mentioned my Cousin. He’s taking a job here in Mass and was going to be moving into an apartment near us with his wife and young daughter.

Well he has the job and is doing well for himself…but he doesn’t have an apartment. His wife and daughter are splitting their time between staying with my Aunt, and his in-laws in Maine, and he’s couch surfing with friends. Why?

Well they had lined up the apartment, but when it came to sign the landlord realized they had a young child. OH NO! YOU CAN’T RENT THE APARTMENT WITH A YOUNG CHILD!!!! IT HAS LEAD PAINT!!!!!

I’m not even going to look up the law at the moment because I’m too pissed off to wade through Mass laws. The wife confirmed this stupid law, and that’s enough.

First for those not in New England let me point out something about the housing stock. There are VERY FEW new houses in New England. When you buy a house you buy an old house. If you’re living in a city, even a small city, the houses are quite old. My house is over 90, there’s a house up the street that’s almost 200. The house I grew up in was built in the 1950s, My wife’s house the ’40s.

They are FULL of LEAD PAINT! Guess what? Don’t let kids eat the paint chips, don’t let kids chew the woodwork, and don’t do any crazy remodeling with the kids at home, and clean up well after the work.

And if me and my epileptic wife isn’t a convincing story, note that if you’re older than me, you likely lived in a lead paint house. You parents certainly lived in a lead paint house. The President grew up in houses filled with lead paint. Everybody running for president grew up in Lead Paint houses!

Lead paint was banned from use in 1977, guess what if you were alive AROUND that date, you lived in proximity of lead paint.

Guess what, YOU’RE FINE!!!!111!!! Its Lead paint, it isn’t Anthrax! Its not good for you, but if you’re careful nothing bad will happen!

Of course lead abatement costs you buckets of money, so any apartments for rent are much more expensive than they can afford.

Good Job Massachusetts, you fucking suck!

**UPDATE** Just talked to a local guy at work who related a story about a family that went apeshit to abate the lead paint, and ended up making it worse because the carpet, despite serious cleaning, still was filled with lead dust and the kids played on the carpet.

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0 Responses to Dumb Laws Piss Me Off

  1. alcade says:

    Yeah, my house is a 1936 and I’m sure it’s chock full of lead paint. My electrical is still on old 60 amp service with ungrounded cloth wires. My wellhead is located within 25 feet of my septic tank. And the septic tank has no leech field – it empties into a creek which in turn empties into the Iroquois river. I’m sitting on 1.5 acres in a 900 sq. ft. house.

    Now, were I to build a new house, I’d need metal outlet boxes and conduit to run my wires through. I’d need at least 50 ft. between my wellhead and my septic tank, and I could possibly be shot for having the tank empty into the creek. New homes have to be built with expensive and practically useless leech fields with a backup septic tank for emergency overflow and an electrical aerator pump. Any rural house must be built with at least 1200 sq. ft. on no less than 5 acres. I suppose that’s good at keeping city dwelling scum from buying an acre of land in the country and setting up shop, but it is rather intrusive.

    I’m in the process right now of upgrading my wiring, and discussing the project with coworkers from Indiana has them bewildered at all the regulations I must follow.

    Hey, think it’s any coincidence that MA and IL are both blue states and both in the tank economically?


  2. bluesun says:

    When we moved to this house when I was about 7 years old, I wish we had had a law like that! My family spent a summer scraping the old lead paint off the house so we could repaint it. Ooo, but look, I’m still here, and I’m sure that, as Calvin’s dad always said, it built character.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      LOL, my folks renovated their tiny “Starter Home” (that they’re still living in right now) a few times over the years. And yes I’m strange, but I’m also a scientist, so how bad was it?

  3. Tam says:

    I couldn’t help it. The paint chips tasted so sweet.

  4. Bob S. says:

    Why don’t we just make it illegal for children to eat lead paint?

    They can eat all the unleaded they want.

  5. NightPaws says:

    Weer’d, I believe that’s a nation wide nanny law. I could be wrong, but I really think it is.

    It came about from HUD funding and tax breaks that go to people who rent and take advantage of said options. Supposedly it’s to help prevent slum lords and mostly the inner city chyyyyyldren from getting sick. (Or at least that’s what and how one lady teaching the lead RRP certification class would say. The chyyyyyyyyldren. CHYYYYYYYYLDREN can’t get sick from lead paint.) Yup. I can preform renovations, repairs and remove lead paint.

    The guy who owns the apartment building probably doesn’t want to loose some governmental funding or tax credit or something.

    Personally I wonder if the children who ended up getting lead poisoning had a lot more to worry about than just housing conditions- like say, parents who weren’t that attentive, bad diets, and other unhealthy conditions. But all of this is coming from someone who grew up in a house with lead paint, and vacationed in an old house up in Maine that probably had enough lead paint layers on the walls to protect everyone from nuclear fall out. That could be the reason I always got yelled at for picking the paint on the windowsills too. But it just flaked off in such a fun way!

  6. Reputo says:

    I let my kids play in the yard outside, and they are happy with the dirt and mulch (got to get the fiber somehow). When we lived in NY, the house was 150 years old. Lead paint, check. Asbestos, check. Everyother killer chemical, check. Did I panic, nope, just went about remodeling. (Its called cleaning up after yourself, the HEPA vac that traps lead and asbestos also traps regular old sawdust which isn’t fun to breathe either).

    • Weerd Beard says:

      We had a bunch of deteriorating asbestos in our house that we got removed (and it wasn’t all that expensive) but if the stuff isn’t breaking down, and you aren’t handling the materials it isn’t isn’t an issue. Really all the harm from asbestos was people fucking with in in unsafe ways.

  7. Matt says:

    Kind of like all the folks buying hybrid cars in order to alleviate an imaginary environmental problem (AGW from CO2 in the exhaust), and thereby directly contributing to a _real_ environmental problem (toxic waste from the battery factories).

    I don’t know what the paint in my parents’ apartment in 1975-’80 was made of, and I haven’t spent meaningful amounts of time living in pre-’77 housing since then, but I took the simpler and more libertarian route to not getting poisoned as a child…DON’T EAT PAINT!

    Baby boomers grew up in households full of lead paint, plus their fathers and mothers generally smoked like chimneys, drank like fish, stuffed the kids unrestrained into the cargo compartments of station wagons that didn’t even _have_ seatbelts…and there are so many of them surviving today that they’re about to bankrupt the whole government when they retire. It seems really strange to be worrying about exposing our kids to whatever tiny life-and-health dangers we still have today.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Oh yeah! Depending on your age either your parents or grandparents smoked like a chimney, and maybe had a stiff drink or two whilst carrying your relative.

      Odd how it’s considered a death sentence to the fetus now, but somehow the species survived.

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  9. Nomen Nescio says:

    actually, lead paint DOES seem to lead to blood in the streets — with a twenty-year delay.


    • Weerd Beard says:

      Makes sense, I mean the old cities in the east where Lead Paint is the standards have so much more of a violent crime problem compared to Western cities that have much more new construction.

      I get the point they’re trying to make, but it simply doesn’t pass the smell test.

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