Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead dust most commonly comes from:

  • Opening and closing old, painted windows
  • Peeling or chipping paint
  • Repair projects that disturb old paint
  • Worn painted floors and stairs

If you live in an older home, there are several steps you can take to minimize lead exposure:

1. Check the paint in your home.

  • Check painted windows, doors and floors for peeling, flaking or chipping paint. Keep children away from these areas.
  • Pick up any paint chips and throw them in the garbage.
  • If a child plays near a window with old paint, put something like furniture in front of the window so that the child can’t touch the old paint.
  • Don’t let your children play near dirt next to the home, as the soil can also be contaminated from the lead (Grass and sandboxes are safe).

2. Keep things clean.

  • Wash children’s hands before eating and before sleeping.
  • Wash toys once a week and keep toys away from areas with chipping paint.
  • Don’t let children eat food that has fallen on the floor. Wash pacifiers and bottles if they fall on the floor and before giving them to your child.
  • Clean floors, windowsills and tabletops with wet mops or rags once a week to wash up dust.

3. Avoid disturbing the paint and creating lead dust.

  • Never dry scrape or sand old paint.
  • Put off renovations until your children are older, if possible. If you need to make repairs or do maintenance use lead-safe methods. Learn more about lead-safe painting, repairs, and renovations at epa.gov/lead.