Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Lead is also harmful to adults. The most common way people are exposed to lead is from dust. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger workers and residents in the home.
If you own or perform repairs at a property built before 1978, you are required to:
- Test painted surfaces for lead-based paint prior to beginning the work,
or assume that the surfaces contain lead-based paint and use lead safe work
- Do not use a belt-sander, propane torch, high temperature heat gun, dry
scraper, or dry sandpaper to remove lead-based paint. These actions can
create large amounts of lead dust or fumes
- Maintain painted surfaces in good repair
- Check impact or friction surfaces (windows and doors) for dust or
- Landlords have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and
lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect
- Sellers have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and
lead-based paint hazards before selling a house
- Renovators disturbing painted surfaces have to give out the EPA’s Renovate Right
Beginning April 2010, federal law will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
Contractors who want information about working safely with lead should contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) for information about courses and resources on lead-safe work practices.
For more information, call 1-800-LA-4-LEAD (5323).
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