|If your home was built before 1978, it
may contain lead paint. Homes built before 1950 have the most lead paint.
Lead paint was most often used on windows, trim, porches, and outside walls.
Paint repair and remodeling projects that involve old paint can create severe
lead dust hazards. Protect your family, whether you do the work yourself
or hire a painter or contractor.
1. Seal Off the Area
- Keep children and pregnant women out of the room.
- Remove as much furniture as you can from the room.
- Cover remaining furniture with heavy plastic sheets.
- Cover the work area floor with heavy plastic.
- Be careful not to track dust out of the area.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while working.
2. Avoid Dust, Chips, or Fumes
- Mist paint before you scrape or sand. Water helps keep lead dust out
of the air.
- Don’t sand blast or power wash. This creates clouds of lead
- Power sanders or grinders should have HEPA filters and
hoods to trap dust.
- Do not use open flames or heat guns above 1100°F.
- Do not use paint strippers with methylene chloride.
3. Keep the Area Clean
- Place trash in heavy plastic bags.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean up dust and
- Scrub floors and walls with soap and water. Rinse well
with clean water.
- Never burn trash with lead in it.
- Conduct a dust test to be sure the area is safe for children
or pregnant women.
4. Keep Dust Off Yourself
- Be careful not to track lead dust around your home.
- Change work clothes and shoes right after you leave the
- Wash work clothes separately from your family’s
- Shower and wash your hair as soon as possible.
5. Use the Right Supplies
- Safety glasses and special work clothes, gloves, hat, and shoes
- Heavy plastic sheets and tape
- Two pails—one to wash and one to rinse
- Soap and water
- Spray bottle to wet down work surfaces
- Rags or paper towels
- Heavy plastic trash bags
- HEPA vacuum to capture dust
- Dust mask or respirator if dust is heavy