Renovating and Remodeling


Remodeling and renovation in a pre-1978 home are very dangerous and have the potential to expose children to a great amount of lead dust and lead hazards. If you must do any renovating please use the following tips to reduce exposure to lead-based paint hazards:

  • Children and pregnant women should not be present while renovations are being done on a pre-1978 home.

  • Never dry, scrape, or sand paint. Use a water mister to moisten the are and then use a scraper to remove the paint from the area.

  • Never use a heat gun to remove paint. Raising the temperature of the paint will release lead fumes into the air to be inhaled.

  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter- equipped vacuum cleaner to remove very small lead particles for floors, window sills, and carpets.

  • Use a NIOSH-certified respirator that is properly fitted and equipped with HEPA filters specifically for the filtration of lead dust particles - they are always purple.

  • Protective clothes, such as coveralls, shoe covers, hats, goggles, face shields, and gloves shoulder be used to help prevent tracking of lead dust from the work site.

  • Remove furniture, rugs, curtains, food, clothing, and other household items until clean up is complete.

  • Cover items that cannot be removed with a layer of plastic sheeting, at least 6 millimeters thick. All plastic should be secured with duct tape.

  • Turn off air heating and cooling systems during renovation. Cover vents with plastic sheeting secured with duct tape. Keep windows closed unless you are working with volatile chemicals.

  • Remove protective clothing prior to leaving the work area to caontain lead dust.

  • Machine was you work clothes separately from other family laundry.

  • Shower and wash your hair right after finishing work to reduce dust contamination.

To make sure that your family is protected, please refer to the EPA's Renovate Right and Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlets. If you are unable to follow these steps, please hire a certified lead- based paint abatement professional. These contractors have been through extensive EPA accredited training and will use pre- cautionary methods that will make your home lead safe but not endanger your family. Tennessee State certified lead-based paint abatement professionals can be located at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Lead Hazard Program website, or consider contacting TALK to apply for possible grant funded clean up.

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