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
  • Mold
  • Cockroaches
  • Pet dander (skin flakes)
  • Rodents
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Air fresheners
  • Strong chemical odors