Here are ways to limit exposure to lead dust in your home:
- Much of the lead dust that enters homes comes in from outside via the dirt on shoes and feet and on pets’ paws. Remove shoes when entering the home and clean your pets’ paws if they spend time in bare dirt outside.
- Put a stiff, outdoor door mat outside the door to trap dust and dirt before it gets in the house.
- If you have any bare patches of dirt around the edges of your home or driveway, cover it with at least six inches of mulch.
- Check windowsills and doorways for chipped and peeling paint, especially at the level where your child’s hands reach, and in areas of high friction. Wipe or vacuum out windowsills and doorways. If you can’t repaint chipped areas, cover with contact paper or duct tape.
- Mop hard-surface floors frequently using the two-bucket method, if possible. Fill bucket #1 with warm water and a household cleaner. Fill bucket #2 with clean water. Dip the mop into bucket #1 and clean the floor. Then dip the mop into bucket #2 to rinse and squeeze before returning it to the cleaning solution. Dispose of the dirty water by pouring it down the toilet.
- Vacuum carpeted surfaces at least once a week. Use a HEPA-filter vacuum followed by a steam cleaner, if possible.
- Wear gloves when cleaning to avoid getting lead dust or paint under fingernails and transferring it to children.
- Wash your children’s hands frequently with soap and water, especially before meals. Hand sanitizer will not remove lead from hands.