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Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Initiative

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The Healthy Homes Initiative is a coordinated, comprehensive and holistic approach for preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies. The focus of the initiative is to identify health, safety, and quality of life issues in the home environment and to act systematically to eliminate or mitigate problems. Many Federal Agencies have incorporated lead poisoning prevention into the Healthy Homes Initiative.

Lead Safe Work Practices

EPA promotes Lead Safe Work Practices when performing any kind of renovation, repair or painting in your home. The principles of lead safe work practice incorporate actions that prevent lead dust when disturbing Lead Paint in homes built before 1978. The six principles of lead safe work practice are:

  1. Prepare the work area
  2. Protect workers and occupants
  3. Don't spread lead dust
  4. Work Wet, Work Clean
  5. Clean the work area and,
  6. Waste disposal.

Work Lead Safe (PDF) (2pp, 618K) February 2008 bulletin from EPA Region 5

Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools (PDF) (21pp, 3.3MB) March 2008

Preventing exposure to other harmful chemicals

Seven Healthy Homes Principles (from HUD)

HUD Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control

National Center for Healthy Housing Exit Disclaimer

Environmental health issues besides lead in paint are of concern to those working in homes, including the possible presence of lead, PCBs, and asbestos; not just in paint, but in varnish, caulk, and soil. Working lead safe is only one step in preventing exposure to these other harmful chemicals.

Use proper ventilation and appropriate protective gear such as goggles, gloves, dust masks, and a respirator, if appropriate. Avoid mixing chemicals and products together, especially if they contain ammonia. Consult with local authorities regarding proper disposal of materials.

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