Every year, Oregon children are exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their homes. For some, that exposure will result in slow growth and development, behavior and learning problems, or health effects such as kidney or liver damage.
What you can do to protect your family
- Find out when your home was built. Homes built before 1978 may have been painted with lead-based paint.
- Get your home checked for lead hazards. Hire a professional to conduct an inspection.
- Check your home for signs of chipping, peeling or deteriorating paint.
- Clean up paint chips immediately and keep paint in good condition.
- Keep the places were your children play clean and dust free. Regularly wet-wipe floors, window sills and other surfaces that may contain lead dust.
- Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when renovating or repairing. Use lead-safe work practices or hire a licensed/certified professional.
- Wash your child's hands often, especially before meals and after playing outside.
- Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in soil that may contain lead.
- Ensure your children eat well-balanced meals. Children with good diets absorb less lead.
- If your child is at risk for lead exposure, have their blood lead level tested. Questions to determine if your child is at risk for lead poisoning can be found in Oregon Health Authority's Lead Poisons Kids: Are Your Kids at Risk? brochure.
Renovation and Repair
Home renovations and repair contribute to nearly half of the childhood lead poisonings in Oregon. Projects that disturb painted surfaces can create hazardous lead dust that can endanger your family.
If you live in a pre-1978 home and you or someone you have hired plans to renovate, repair and/or paint your home, please read EPA's Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools lead hazard information pamphlet | en español.
- If you plan to do the work yourself, please read EPA's Lead-Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance and Renovation Work booklet to learn how to work safely in a home with lead-based paint. You may also want to call the Oregon Lead-Based Paint Program at 971-673-0440.
- If you plan to hire a contractor to renovate, repair and/or paint your home, please hire a "Lead-Safe Certified" contractor. Ask to see his/her certification or Lead-Based Paint Renovators Contractor License. Also read EPA's Renovate Right lead hazard information pamphlet to learn what is required of a lead-safe certified contractor.
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