LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you live in a home that was built before 1978, it is likely that is contains lead paint. Lead exposure is harmful to brain development, especially in young children.

To help decrease its harmful effects on Maine kids, legislators announced the implementation of a new law that lowers the threshold of when the state can act to help exposed children and their families.

Previously, Maine's lead intervention system was not put into action until a child who was tested for lead poisoning had a blood lead level that reached 15 micrograms per deciliter.

This new law changes that level to 5 micrograms per deciliter, which is in line with Federal CDC recommendations.

If a child tests at that level, the child's home will be evaluated for lead hazards. If they are found, CDC staff will determine what actions need to be taken to safely remove them.

The new law also gives state officials the power to enforce a fine of $500 dollars a day against landlords who don't abide by lead abatement orders.

The legislators who helped to pass the new law say it will identify and help more than 500 Maine children each year who would otherwise not have been identified as lead poisoned.

Anyone interested in learning more about screening children for lead exposure should visit maine.gov/healthyhomes.