Prevention Tips

Lead & Children
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Learn what you can do to stop children from coming into contact with lead before they are harmed.

Check Your Home
View and print a checklist that will help you determine if your family is at risk for lead poisoning. If your home was built before 1978, have your home tested for lead and learn about potential lead hazards. Fix any hazards that you may have. You can get your home checked in 1 or both of the following ways:
  • A paint inspection — Tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home, but does not tell you if the paint is a hazard or how to deal with it. This is most appropriate when you are buying a home or signing a lease, before you renovate, and to help you determine how to maintain your home for lead safety.
  • A risk assessment — Tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure such as peeling paint and lead dust, and tells you what actions to take to address these hazards. This is most helpful if you want to know if lead is causing exposure to your family now.
Have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure the work is done safely, reliably, and effectively. You can have a combined risk assessment and inspection.
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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:
  • Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, at least weekly with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel.