The largest source of childhood lead exposure is the dust from paint in houses built before 1978, which is the year lead paint was banned. However, houses built before 1960 are more likely to have paint with a high lead content. Lead dust forms when painted surfaces are rubbed together, such as when windows or doors are opened or closed, or when surfaces are scraped or sanded during renovations. Precautions such as replacing old windows, using wet cleaning methods and HEPA vacuum cleaners, washing your child’s toys and pacifiers frequently, keeping bare soil covered with mulch, taking your shoes off when entering the home, are all important ways to prevent lead dust exposure in small children.
If you are planning any renovations, make sure the renovator you choose is certified by the EPA before signing any contract by checking this link: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm If your plan is to permanently remove identified lead hazards from your house, make sure your contract states this, and verify the lead abatement firm is licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation at this link: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup
For more information please visit the Lead-Safe Virginia website at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/leadsafe
Educational materials can be ordered online or downloaded at the link: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/leadsafe/publications.htm
For questions or assistance, the program’s toll- free lead information line is 1-877-668-7987.