What You Should Know

Lead paint hazard information and prevention tips for your family and home



How to Keep Your Family Safe

  1. Visit your primary care provider to request a free blood lead test if you think your home has lead paint hazards. Your doctor can explain test results and next best steps.

  2. If you are a tenant, notify your landlord or property manager of peeling or chipping paint in your home, and refer them to this website for information on free lead paint remediation services, if eligible.

  3. If you think your home has lead paint:
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces with a wet cloth to prevent pushing dust into the air

  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often

  • Remove shoes or wipe soil off shoes before entering your home

  • Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C

  • Before buying, renting, or renovating your home, have it checked for lead paint hazards

  • Always keep painted surfaces in good condition to minimize deterioration

  • Don’t try to remove lead paint hazards yourself

  • Check the Lead Free Homes LA eligibility and service area map to see if you are currently eligible for a free home assessment for lead paint hazards. If you don't quality for free assessment and services with Lead Free Homes LA, find a certified inspector or risk assessor at epa.gov/lead


  • Talk to your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint

  • Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling, such as wearing a respirator

  • If your home is in need of repair due to lead paint hazards, check your eligibility with Lead Free Homes LA. For those who do not qualify for our free services, always hire EPA or State approved Lead Safe certified contractors for renovations, repairs, and painting

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is lead poisoning?

    Lead poisoning happens when too much lead gets into the body through skin contact, breathing in lead dust, swallowing lead dust that has settled on or around food, or eating paint chips. Lead paint is the leading cause of lead poisoning in the United States and was not banned in homes until 1978. Lead paint dust, chips, and even soil around homes that were painted with lead paint can all cause lead poisoning, as can furniture and toys that contain lead or lead paint.

  • Lead is toxic to everyone. However, children, unborn babies, and pregnant women are at the greatest risk for health problems from lead-based hazards.

  • Lead affects the body in many different ways with varying levels of severity, even with low levels of exposure. While low-level lead exposure is most common, exposure to high amounts or prolonged exposure can have devastating effects for children, including seizures and unconsciousness. Lead exposure can even be fatal.

    Adverse effects of lead exposure for children: developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, fatigue, seizure, hearing loss, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, nervous system, kidney damage, speech problems, and constipation.

    Lead exposure is dangerous for adults, too, especially pregnant women. Women with high levels of lead in their systems before or during pregnancy risk exposing the fetus, which can lead to miscarriages or stillbirth. Other adverse effects include premature birth, lower birth weight, slower growth rates, and increased high blood pressure during pregnancy.

    Adverse effects of lead exposure for adults: high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, difficulties with memory or concentration, headache, abdominal pain, mood disorders, digestive problems, nerve disorders, and fertility problems

  • Symptoms include loss of appetite, headaches, behavioral problems, trouble concentrating, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, muscle and joint weakness.

  • A doctor or medical professional can test you and your family members for lead poisoning through a blood test to check for elevated levels of lead in your body.

    If you suspect that you or your child might have lead poisoning, it is important to visit your doctor’s office to get tested for lead. You can ask for a blood lead test at your next appointment.

    If you do not have insurance, view a list of clinics that offer free blood lead testing and may be able to assist you.

    click here

  • Treatment for lead poisoning depends on the amount of lead found in the blood. The most important part of treatment is preventing additional exposure. For this reason, the Lead Free Homes LA program is FREE to help keep LA County residents safe.

    Your medical care provider will recommend treatment based on your blood lead levels.

  • If your home or apartment was built before 1978, there could still be lead paint hazards in your home. Lead Free Homes LA currently serves homes built before 1951 because of higher concentrations of lead paints manufactured before that time.

    If you’re eligible for participation in Lead Free Homes LA., one of our certified lead testing contractors will set up an appointment to visit your home and assess it for lead. Click here to see if you’re eligible.

  • Some indicators that lead paint could be hazardous: Deteriorating paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, or damaged paint) needs immediate attention. It may also be a hazard on surfaces that children chew or that get a lot of wear and tear, like windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.

    Dust can form when lead paint is scraped, sanded, or heated. Lead paint chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch and reenter the air when the home is vacuumed or swept, or when people walk through it.

  • If our Lead-Safe Certified team identifies lead paint hazards in your home, they will use EPA-approved methods to safely remove lead paint hazards, such as work place containment to prevent potential lead dust from leaving the work area and the use of wet-dry sandpaper or misters to keep dust down.

  • If your residence is located in an area served by Lead Free Homes LA, check if your home meets program eligibility and if we are currently working in your area.

    Have your children tested for lead poisoning. If the test shows there is lead poisoning, you can bypass the application process and call us at 626.296.6302 to schedule a lead assessment test immediately.

Myths and Misconceptions

Resources

Learn more about preventing lead exposure and explore resources available to keep you and your family safe.


Access Free Resources