Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home

Posted by Ben Thompson on 07.26.12

Where Lead-Based Paint Is Found

Many homes, built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Some states stopped its use even earlier. Lead can be found:

  • In homes in the city, country, or suburbs.
  • In apartments, single-family homes, and both private and public housing.
  • Inside and outside the house.
  • In soil around a home. (Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint or other sources such as past use of leaded gas in cars).


If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, you can take some immediate steps to reduce your family's risk:

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly. Use a mop or sponge with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead. REMEMBER: NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH PRODUCTS TOGETHER SINCE THEY CAN FORM A DANGEROUS GAS.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children's hands often, especially before they eat and before nap time and bed time.
  • Keep play areas clean. Wash bottles, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals regularly.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.
  • Make sure children eat nutritious, low-fat meals high in iron and calcium, such as spinach and dairy products. Children with good diets absorb less lead.


For More Information

Call 1-800-424-LEAD to learn how to protect children from lead poisoning and for other information on lead hazards. (Internet: and


EPS's Safe Drinking Water Hotline

Call 1-800-426-4791 for information about lead in drinking water.


Regional Lead Contact for Michigan

U.S. EPA Region 5 (DT-8J)

77 West Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604-3666



For up-to-date address and phone information for state and local contacts on the Internet at or contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.



To read the entire comprehensive public educational booklet regarding preventing lead poisoning in your family and lead exposures in your home environment. Follow this link



Topics: Love Where You Live