Living More Safely With Lead - Safety Tip Guide
- Keeping lead out of house dust
- Cleaning up lead dust
- Avoiding contact with lead in soil
- Safe Drinking Water
- Lead Paint Safety
- More ways to keep children lead-safe
- Remove outside shoes at the door—visitors too.
- Ban smoking from your home. Tobacco contributes lead to house dust.
- Don’t carry lead dust home from work on your clothes.
- Avoid raising and lowering painted windows or frequently opening and closing painted doors that stick. The friction of moving surfaces can create invisible lead dust.
- By law, dust from construction or demolition debris must be controlled. If you see dust clouds at a work site, call Air Management Services at 215-685-7580.
- In summer, place thick pleated air filters behind window fans or in the central air system (HVAC).
- In warm, dry, windy weather, regularly hose down the porch, sidewalk, and the nearby street.
- Lead is present in both visible dirt & invisible dust.
- Never dry-sweep with a broom—it can stir up clouds of fine lead dust. Wet-sweep bare floors and wet-wipe hard surfaces, then wash with household cleaner. Rinse well.
- Use a damp paper towel or disposable cloth to dust furniture.
- Replace old, threadbare carpets, if possible. You may also use area rugs to cover playroom carpets or high-traffic areas.
- Wash your own and your children’s hands often. After dusty work or play, wash your hands with lead-removing soap. Wash small children’s hands with lead-removing wipes.
- Don’t let children or pets play in bare soil anywhere: yard, park, or playground.
- Cover bare yard soil with sod, patio stones, thick mulch, or raised garden beds.
- Cover small bare spots—for example, under swings—with rubber mats.
- If you garden, cover bare soil with heavy landscape cloth and install raised beds on top. You can fill the beds with clean soil plus compost or compost alone.
- Ensure lead-free drinking water by flushing the cold water faucet for three to five minutes every morning, following the instructions in the Water Department’s “Daily Cleaning Tips.”
- During street excavation, drink bottled water. When the work is completed, flush your plumbing by following the steps in the Water Department’s “30-minute Flush” tip sheet, followed by the “Daily Cleaning Tips.”
- Cover peeling paint at child height using strong tape or contact paper. Block the area with furniture.
- Unsafe renovation is a major source of serious lead poisoning in both adults and children.
- For large areas of deteriorated paint, hire a certified contractor and check credentials.
- Never remove lead paint with a power sander or heat gun.
- Never remove exterior paint by power washing.
- For small areas of deteriorated paint, come to a Green Ambassador Training Session to learn about lead-safe DIY.
- Provide children with frequent healthy snacks high in calcium, iron, and zinc. A full stomach absorbs much less lead than an empty one.
- Buy and keep only toys made in USA, Canada, or Europe after 1990. Never buy toy jewelry from vending machines or dollar stores, or candy from Mexico.
- Provide children with a low-stress, language-rich, and education-rich environment. An active brain fights lead!