Lead Information for Homeowners

Homeowners and Lead Paint

Lead paint was banned for use in home paint in 1978. Therefore, homes built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint.

Homeowners should use lead-safe work practiced during renovation activities, such as painting and window replacement to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

Renovations, Repairs and Painting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule), which is aimed at protecting the public from lead-based paint hazards associated with renovations, repairs and painting activities.  These activities can create hazardous lead dust when surfaces with lead paint are disturbed.

The RRP Rule requires homeowners to hire an EPA RRP-certified firm to complete renovations and repairs on pre-1978 housing.  For more information, a homeowner may visit the EPA’s website to locate an EPA RRP-certified firm by clicking here.

  • For more information on the EPA RRP Rule, click here
  • If a homeowner believes that the firm is violating the RRP rule, click here to submit a tip or complaint to the EPA

Lead Safe Work Practices

Homeowners attempting to do their own renovations or repairs should familiarize themselves with lead-safe work practices, which include:

  • Do not dry scrape or sand painted surfaces
  • Wet all painted surfaces before disturbing paint
  • Do not power wash surfaces on a pre-1978 home (some municipalities have local ordinances prohibiting power washing)
  • Use personal protective equipment when working on painted surfaces
  • Use containment and barriers to prevent paint chips, debris and dust from spreading from work area

Lead Abatement

If a child under the age of 6 is determined to have an elevated venous blood lead level, the local health department will be required to complete an epidemiological investigation (the completion of a comprehensive lead inspection and child related questionnaire).

Educational materials for homeowners can be found here