Paint & Dust

Lead in Paint

Homes built before 1978 are more likely to have lead-based paint. 

Lead was often added to paint used in homes built before 1978.  In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in homes.  The older the home, the more likely it is to have lead-based paint. 

Percent of older homes with lead-based paint image

Any of the following paints and coverings may contain lead if they were made before 1978:

  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Enamel
  • Lacquer
  • Glaze
  • Stain
  • Primer
  • Coating

Lead-based paint is a problem when it is peeling, cracking, or chipping.  Lead-based paint is also a problem when it is painted on something that moves or rubs against something else creating lead-based paint dust. This risk is greatest with windows and doors that have been painted with lead-based paint.

If you live in a home built before 1978, you may want to get your home tested for lead. You can hire a certified lead professional to do this test.

Lead in Dust

Lead dust is created when:

  • Lead-based paint is scraped, dry sanded, heated or burned.
  • Windows and doors that have been painted with lead-based paint rub together.
  • Lead-contaminated soil is brought indoors.
  • Lead from a job or hobby is brought home on clothes or hands.
  • Lead is used at home for hobbies.

What educational resources are available?

Guide to safe cleaning of lead paint and dust    
Guide to safe cleaning of lead paint chips and dust  

 

     

 

How am I exposed to lead in paint and in dust?

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What are the health effects?

  • What are the health effects?

    Most people who have lead in their blood do not look or act sick. However, there is no safe level of lead in the blood. 

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How can I protect myself from lead in paint and in dust?

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