Local help: Learn lead levels in your home

Why is lead poisoning a
problem in Maine?
? Homes built before 1978 are likely
to contain lead paint. This means
that over 60% of Maine homes
may contain lead paint.
? Homes built before the mid-1950s
may have paint that is mostly lead.
? Home renovations cause over half
the childhood lead poisonings in
Maine.
? Children are most at risk of lead
poisoning. This is because lead
interferes with the normal
development of their nervous
systems. Very small amounts of
lead can cause behavioral
problems and learning disabilities.
? Adults can be lead poisoned too! 

BEFORE your renovate:

Find out if you have lead paint in your home.
? Maine-licensed Lead Inspectors and Risk Assessors can tell you the amount of lead on any painted surface. Call 1-800-452-1942 or 1-207-287-2651 for a list of licensed inspectors and risk assessors.
? For spot testing you can buy a “Lead-Check” kit at your local hardware store. If these show a positive result, you know you have lead. These kits may not detect low levels of lead.

Find out if any family members have high levels of lead.
? For information on testing family members for lead poisoning, call your health care provider or the Maine
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-207- 287-
4311.

?When you renovate – USE LEADSAFE WORK PRACTICES.
? If you are doing the work yourself: Follow the instructions in the “Keep It Clean” brochure . This brochure is a basic guide to lead-safe painting and home
improvement. It includes a listing of the proper equipment, how to do safe work, and steps to follow to clean all the lead up.
? If you are hiring a contractor: Lead abatement contractors are specially trained to guarantee safe lead abatement work. If you hire a general painting or homeimprovement contractor to do renovation, add lead-safe work practices to your contract and be sure that the person
leading the work crew has taken a “Lead- Smart Renovator” course. For more information on lead-safe renovation, go to www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/lead/leadrenohomes.htm. Call the DEP at 1-800-452-1942 or 1-207-287-2651 to get a list
of licensed Lead Abatement contractors and people who have taken a “Lead-Smart Renovator” course.

After you renovate – KEEP YOUR HOME LEAD-SAFE.
? Clean all lead-painted surfaces frequently. Use an all-purpose household cleaner and a separate clean water bucket for rinsing. Lead dust can be created whenever you
open a window or door that has lead paint on it. Lead dust is also created by regular use of painted floors and stairs.
? Maintain all painted surfaces in good condition. Never dry sand lead paint as this creates high levels of lead dust. Dampen the paint with a mister when doing spot repairs. Keep children and pets away from the work area, and clean thoroughly.

 You Can Prevent Lead Poisoning
Most lead poisonings are caused by ingesting lead dust.

Wash children’s hands
often and always before eating.
? Leave shoes at the door. This keeps
lead-contaminated soil outside.
? Make sure your family eats a healthy
diet that is high in iron and calcium.
Children with good diets absorb less
lead.
? Lead dust can be invisible. Clean
windows and floors often with an allpurpose
household cleaner and lots of
“elbow grease”.
? Keep painted surfaces in good repair.
Never use a power sander when preparing surfaces for repainting unless you know there is no lead paint on that surface.
You Can Make Your Home Lead-Safe
Protect Your Family
Prevent Lead Poisoning! 

 Check these websites
for more information:
www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/lead
Www.maine.gov/dhhs/eohp/lead
www.hud.gov/offices/lead
www.epa.gov/lead


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