What Residents Can Do To Prevent Lead Paint Exposure
Simple steps to Protect Your Family from Lead Hazards:
If you think your home has lead-based paint:
- Don’t try to remove lead-based paint yourself.
- Always keep painted surfaces in good condition to minimize deterioration.
- Get your home checked for lead hazards. Find a certified inspector or risk assessor at epa.gov/lead.
- Talk to your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint.
- Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
- Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling.
- When renovating, repairing, or painting, hire only EPA- or state-approved Lead-Safe certified renovation firms.
- Before buying, renting, or renovating your home, have it checked for lead-based paint.
- Consult your health care provider about testing your children for lead. Your pediatrician can check for lead with a simple blood test.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
- Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
- Remove shoes or wipe soil off shoes before entering your house.
Maintain Your Home’s Condition
It is very important to care for the lead-painted surfaces in your home. Lead-based paint in good condition is usually not harmful.
If your home was built before 1978:
- Regularly check your home for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint, and address issues promptly without excessive sanding. If you must sand, sand the minimum area needed, wet the area first, and clean up thoroughly.
- Regularly check all painted areas that rub together or get lots of wear, like windows, doors, and stairways, for any signs of deterioration.
- Regularly check for paint chips or dust – if you see some, remove carefully with a damp paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel.
- Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, at least weekly with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel.
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust.
- Remember to test for the presence of lead and lead hazards by a lead professional – this will tell you where you must be especially careful.
Here are more tips to help you reduce or prevent your family’s exposure to lead dust. It’s best to follow these steps weekly.
Cleaning Uncarpeted Floors
- Damp mopping, with standard sponge or string type mops and an all-purpose cleaner.
- Standard vacuum cleaners if no visible dust or debris from chipping or flaking paint is present.
- Mops with a scrubber strip attached.
- Powered buffing or polishing machines, or vacuums with beater bars that may wear away the painted surface.
Cleaning Carpets and Rugs
- Wet scrubbing or steam cleaning methods to remove stains.
- Standard vacuum cleaners if no visible dust or debris from chipping or flaking paint is present. Use only vacuums with HEPA filters otherwise.
- Dry sweeping of surface dust and debris.
- Shaking or beating of carpets and rugs.
Cleaning or Dusting Walls and other Painted Surfaces
- Soft, dampened, disposable cloths with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Steel wool, scouring pads, and abrasive cleaners.
- Solvent cleaners that may dissolve paint.
- Excessive rubbing of spots to remove them.
Lead Poisoning Check List – https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/parent_checklist3.pdf
Protect your Family from Exposure to Lead https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead#sl-home
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