If you think your home may have lead hazards, get your home
tested by a qualified person. If your home is contaminated, hire an experienced
company to get rid of the lead. Do not try to get rid of it yourself.
Disturbing lead paint without proper training or experience can
make things worse.
Expert workers can stabilize or remove and
dispose of lead-contaminated materials, including dust. Your local lead
poisoning prevention program or health department can provide referrals to people
licensed to do this.
To reduce lead in your home:
Have all home remodeling or refinishing projects
done by professionals experienced in lead hazard control. Remove the family
from the home during the project, and don’t return until a proper cleanup has
Don’t scrape, sand, or burn painted wood. Otherwise you
could create lead-contaminated dust.
Steam-clean carpets and clean
rugs with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter if possible. Using other vacuums
or beating carpets spreads dust into the air.
windowsills, door frames, and uncarpeted floors with a wet cloth or damp mop at least once a week with warm, soapy water. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the soap off
of the toys. It’s easier to clean a smooth surface than a rough surface. You can paint window sills with semi-gloss paint, install aluminum liners in window wells, and seal wood floors with polyurethane or paint to make surfaces smoother.
Clean and then stay away from areas where dust tends
to pile up, such as the corners of floors, windows, and porches, near heat
registers, and the dirt along the outside of the house.
Don’t prepare, serve, or store food or drinks in ceramic pottery or crystal glasses unless you are sure they are lead-free.
your children eat dirt or put things in their mouths that have been on the
floor. Children sometimes eat paint chips or chew on painted surfaces, and they
may put their hands in their mouths after they touch dirt or dust that contains
lead. Wash pacifiers and bottles any time they fall on the
Wash children’s hands often, especially before they eat or
Plant grass or cover bare soil with wood chips. Plant bushes
close to the house to keep children from playing in soil next to the house.
Provide a sandbox with a solid floor and cover for play and keep it filled with
Fix surfaces that rub against each other (like windows
and doors against their frames). The rubbing can create lead-contaminated
Consider whether or not toys in your home could contain lead.
In 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found high lead
content in many children’s toys and jewelry made in other countries. For a
complete list of recalled products, see the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD – Pediatrics Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP – Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology