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Published on November 10, 2016. Last modified on March 22, 2020

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Information about lead

Lead Paint

 Lead is a metal that was commonly used to make paint up until 1978. Lead is a poison that is dangerous to you and your family. It can harm a child’s brain and cause learning and behavior problems. It can even harm unborn babies. Any house or apartment built before 1978 could have lead paint. Houses and apartments built before 1960 have the most lead paint. Common household repairs (like painting or fixing a door that sticks to the door frame) can produce lead dust or paint chips. This dust and paint chips can contain lead. This allows lead particles to get into the air and onto the floor or ground outside. It takes only a very small amount of lead to poison someone.

Prevent Exposure to Lead-Based Paint

 Lead paint in good condition usually is not a problem, but dangerous lead dust can be released from peeling or damaged paint, or by sanding paint in older homes. When working on or remodeling a home with lead paint there are important safety tips you need to follow. Lead can affect children’s brains and create lifelong learning and behavioral problems. Babies and small children are at the highest risk because they play on the floor and often put their hands and toys in their mouths.

Follow the links below to find out more about preventing lead poisoning or call 1-800-LA-4-LEAD for more information.


For more information on preparing for renovations for your home: Renovate Right (English)  | Remodelar Correctamente (Español) 

What to Do If You Have Lead-Based Paint Where You Live

 If your home or apartment was built before 1978, you may have lead-based paint. The paint may be on the inside or outside of the building. Chipping or peeling paint is a danger. It is important to protect children and pregnant women from coming into contact with peeling paint and dust.

Find tips for keeping kids safe from lead in English and Español 

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, click here

Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing

Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing (2012 Edition) 

US Department of Housing and Urban Development SealThe Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing support HUD’s vision to reduce hazards in housing in a cost-effective manner while protecting the health of children. TheGuidelines apply to lead hazard evaluation and control in all federally associated housing. This second edition of the Guidelines replaces the 1995 edition, with its lead-based paint inspection chapter revised in 1997.

These Guidelines can be used by those who are required to identify and control lead paint hazards, as well as property owners, landlords, and child-care center operators.  They offer helpful advice on renovations in older housing, lead-based paint inspections and risk assessments, and where to go for help.  The Guidelines also outline what users have to do to meet requirements and recommendations; identify training – and if applicable, certification – required for people who conduct the work; and describe how the work should be done. 

The Guidelines complement regulations that have been issued by HUD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and policies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While compliance with the Guidelines is not required by law, a Federal, State, or local statute, regulation, legal agreement or other document may require that the Guidelines, or certain parts, be followed. 

This Web page has links to materials related to the Guidelines, including overview slide presentations, tables showing how the steps in conducting lead hazard control projects are supported by specific chapters and appendices in the Guidelines, and more.

If you have any questions about the Guidelines, please e-mail Lead.Regulations@HUD.gov.

Continue to Guidelines on the US Housing and Urban Development website