LEAD HAZARDS IN THE HOME
Lead poisoning can happen anywhere. But most of the time it happens where children should be safest—your home. Lead can be found in paint, soil, water, hobby supplies, and more. It’s important to know what can put your child at risk so you can start taking steps to keep them safe.
PAINT IN HOMES BUILT BEFORE 1978
Leaded paint is a hazard long before it actually chips or flakes. Microscopic dust is the biggest cause of lead paint poisoning in children. It only takes as little as a sugar packet’s worth to feel the effects of lead exposure.
Home repairs that create even a small amount of lead dust can put your family at risk. Get your home tested before starting any renovation projects and only hire EPA Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP) certified contractors.
Lead can leach into the water supply when water sits in leaded pipes for several hours. If you are concerned that your home might have lead pipes or pipes with lead solder, run your tap on cold for 1–2 minutes to flush your system before cooking or drinking.
If you live in the City of Rochester you can get your water tested for free.
Get more information about lead in the drinking water from the EPA or drinking water safety in the City of Rochester.
Flaking or deteriorating lead-based paint can contaminate soil in your yard and be tracked into your house. Take off your shoes inside and don’t let children play in bare soil next to your house, and don’t plant food in soil near your home unless it’s been tested for lead.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Want to protect your child’s future? Start by taking steps to get rid of lead hazards in your home.
Before you sign a lease on a home built before 1978, your landlord is required to warn you about lead. If you live in the City of Rochester, you can request a free inspection at 585-428-6520. Your landlord cannot legally retaliate against you for requesting an inspection.
Sellers must disclose known information on lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. But it’s still a good idea to get your home tested by a professional.
Find out when your house was built
Millions of houses built before 1978 have lead paint still present. The symptoms of lead poisoning aren’t always easy to see. Lots of things happen at appointments, make sure lead is on the list. Talk to your doctor about requesting a lead test.
REQUEST A FREE HOME INSPECTION
If you rent or own a home in the City of Rochester, call 585-428-6520 to request a free lead inspection. Renters, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to make sure your home is lead safe.
HIRE CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS
Make sure anyone you hire to do repair work on a pre-1978 structure is certified by the EPA in Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP). It is required by law that they have a certification.
Other Organizations and Resources
Monroe County Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Provides medical case management and educational outreach, conducts environmental investigations, responds to complaints of improper/unsafe lead hazard control activities, and issues Cease and Desist Orders to stop unsafe practices.
The Housing Council at Pathstone
Provides lead information, landlord education, foreclosure prevention, pre-purchase counseling and fair housing education in the City of Rochester.
Get more information on the Housing Council at PathStone.
City of Rochester Lead Hazard Control Grant
Provides financial assistance up to $11,000 to eligible City of Rochester homeowners to address lead hazards as well as “Healthy Home” interventions.
Get more information about the grant.
Protect Your Family From Lead at Home -EPA Booklet
A booklet to help homeowners and parents understand sources of lead, how to get children tested, identifying lead hazards, and how to protect their families.