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Lead Poisoning Prevention

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New Requirements to Protect Children from Lead-Based Paint Hazards

To further protect children from exposure to lead-based paint, EPA issued new rules in 2008 for contractors who renovate or repair housing, child-care facilities or schools built before 1978. Under the new rules, workers must follow lead-safe work practice standards to reduce potential exposure to dangerous levels of lead during renovation and repair activities. More information

EPA National Lead Page


Everyone is at risk of being poisoned by lead. The greatest risk is for children under six because of their small body mass, hand-to-mouth behavior, developing central nervous systems, and high metabolism.

Homes built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. If it is deteriorating, it may present a hazard through inhalation or ingestion of paint chips and lead-contaminated dust and soil.

The sale of lead-based paint for residential use has been banned since 1978. Children living in older homes with chipping or peeling paint or in older homes undergoing renovation are at risk. Lead poisoning can cause central nervous system damage, reduced attention span and behavioral problems in children. Pregnant women who are poisoned can transfer lead to a developing fetus. Lead can also harm adults.

If you suspect your child has been poisoned by lead, have a clinic or physician do a blood lead test. At city or county public health clinics, it is usually done at no charge. Pediatricians and other private doctors may be reluctant to order the test. If you have good reason to suspect your child has been poisoned by lead, insist on the test.

Many children with elevated blood lead levels show no symptoms. Possible symptoms include headache, stomachache, behavior disorders, hyperactivity or developmental delay.

Renovation of Older Homes and Child-Occupied Facilities

Cover of The Lead Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right If the owner or occupant hires a contractor to renovate housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978, the contractor must provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before work begins to the owner, occupant, and parents/guardians of children under six in child-occupied facilities. The EPA-approved pamphlet is Renovate Right (PDF) (12 pp, 7.2MB, About PDF).

When remodeling their own homes built before 1978, homeowners should take precautions when disturbing old paint. It is especially hazardous to pregnant women and children under six. Contact the Lead Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD for more information, or contact the National Lead Information Center.

Contact Region 7's Lead-Based Paint staff at 1-800-223-0425.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Cover of Protect Your Family From Lead in the HomeBecause lead paint in a home can be a threat to children, regulations provide protection to both renters and buyers.

The landlord or rental agent must give the prospective tenants a copy of the pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home, and must inform them of any known lead-based paint hazards in the residential unit and common areas. The landlord is not required to test for lead paint or remove it.

The seller or agent must give the buyer a copy of Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home and inform the buyer of any known lead-based paint hazards. The seller is not required to test for lead. The seller must offer the prospective buyer a 10-day opportunity to have a lead inspection or risk assessment performed. The buyer cannot be obligated to sign a contract until given this opportunity. The parties may agree to adjust the 10-day period.

Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home (PDF) (19 pp, 1.7MB, About PDF)

Region 7's Lead-Based Paint Program Staff

General Education Grants and Community Outreach Crystal McIntyre mcintyre.crystal@epa.gov
Compliance Assistance & Enforcement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule
  • Pre-Renovation Education Rule
  • To request Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet
  • For assistance in locating a lead-based paint professional
Maria Morey,
Cassie Mance,
Candace Bias
morey.maria@epa.gov, mance.cassandra@epa.gov, bias.candace@epa.gov

Publications and Resources

To view specific publications or for more information, please see EPA's Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil page.

Enforcement


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