Make sure the lead paint is in good shape. When lead paint becomes damaged, either chipping, cracking, or peeling, it releases lead dust which is where contamination comes from. Repainting on a regular basis is necessary to maintain the integrity of the paint.
Old wooden windows are often painted with lead paint, and the act of opening and closing them wears the paint at the contact points and can generate dust more quickly. Securing the top sashes to prevent movement, and leaving windows closed whenever possible can reduce this deterioration. Adding metal capping in the bottoms of the window wells can also make these areas easier to clean.
If you're having work done to your home, be sure to hire an RRP (Renovation Repair and Painting) Accredited firm. The EPA created this training program to help contractors improve work practices to minimize the release of lead dust from old paint. When the work is finished, hire an inspector to complete a clearance inspection to make sure there is no lead dust present.
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Hard surfaces collect dust where children can come in contact with it. Carpeting traps dust in it's fibers and keeps it out of the reach of children. Wall to wall carpeting, or even throw rugs will trap some of the lead dust and reduce the risk of exposure.
The concrete floor of an unfinished basement is porous, and create an area for dust to accumulate. Often these areas do not get cleaned regularly as well. Painting the floor can create a smooth, easy to clean surface, that when combined with regular cleaning can significantly reduce the risk of dust accumulation. If you have the money to invest, a clear sealer in addition to the paint can make the floor more durable and eliminate the need for repainting.
The best form of prevention is early identification. If you live in a home that was built prior to 1978, and you have children, be sure to have them screened regularly. Early identification of elevated blood lead levels can let you know of a problem early, and a professional can help to identify the dangers, and how to mitigate them. Early identification can help prevent lasting damage.