If You Suspect Lead Exposure

Do Not Attempt to Remove Paint Yourself
If you think that your home may contain lead-based paint, do not attempt to remove the paint yourself. Do-it-yourself home repairs or renovations involving removal or destruction of lead-based paint can increase the hazard by spreading lead-contaminated dust.

Any method used to remove lead-based paint is likely to produce lead-contaminated dust or fumes that will pose a threat to occupants long after the work is finished. Lead-based paint should be removed only by professionals with specialized training to contain dust and other wastes and to protect themselves and occupants from lead exposure. There are no completely safe methods for removing lead-based paint.

Safest Method
Covering or encapsulating lead-based paint is considered the safest method of reducing lead poisoning hazards in the home. Outside surfaces can be covered with vinyl or aluminum siding. Inside surfaces can be covered with wallboard or paneling. Doors and other wood work can be removed and replaced or can be taken to a commercial stripping operation to remove paint.

Test for Lead-Based Paint
If you are planning renovations on an older house, test for lead-based paint before disturbing any painted surfaces.