Frequently Asked Questions
What should I know about lead?
- The main sources of lead are paint, soil, and dust
- Lead paint was banned from use in households in the United States in 1978
- If you live in a home built before 1978, lead hazards may be present in your home
- Lead is poisonous, and even small amounts can make you sick
- Lead can damage a child's brain
- Lead is also harmful to adults
How do people get lead poisoning?
- Lead may be present in household dust
- Lead is often present in exposed soil that was contaminated by leaded gasoline, peeling paint, or air pollution
- Children are most often poisioned by swallowing lead dust that gets on their hands
- Lead dust can be found on surfaces subject to wear and tear like doors, windows, and floors
- Pets can also track in lead dust and be poisioned
- Adults that work around lead may be exposed or bring lead home if they do not have protective clothing
How do I work safely around lead?
- Read Steps to Lead Safe Renovation for safety on do-it-yourself projects
- Always wet any surface being worked on that may contain lead, and always clean up afterwards
- Plastic sheets or tarps should be used to catch paint chips and dust
- If you hire a contractor, make sure they are currently EPA-certified in Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RPP)
- You can search for certified Lead Risk Assessors and contractors here
- Read Renovate Right to learn more about hiring contractors
What should I know about asthma?
- Asthma is a long-term and potentially life-threatening medical condition
- Asthma can cause inflammation in your lungs and make it difficult to breathe
- Symptoms of an asthma attack can include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness
- There is no cure for asthma, but medications and behaviors can help control it
- Many different things can trigger asthma attacks
- Different people may have different asthma triggers
What are some common asthma triggers?
- Dust and dust mites
- Pet dander (skin flakes)
- Tobacco smoke
- Air fresheners
- Strong chemical odors