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Keeping Facilities Lead-Safe

As a child care provider or school maintenance staff, you can take simple steps to maintain a lead-safe environment.

Lead in drinking water

Lead paint

How do I know if my school or child care facility has lead paint?

  • Find out when your school or child care facility was built. If the facility was built before 1978 assume it has lead paint unless it has been tested and found not to have lead paint.
  • Have your school or child care facility professionally tested for lead.

How can I maintain a school or child care facility and keep It lead-safe?

Paint that is peeling or chipping poses an immediate safety hazard for young children. Intact lead paint can still be a potential problem, because eventually it will deteriorate and release lead dust. Removal of intact lead paint, however, could release higher levels of lead inside the school or child care facility if not done correctly.

  • Periodically inspect your school or child care facility for signs of chipping, peeling or deteriorating paint.
  • Check for areas where painted surfaces are creating lead dust such as, doors, windows and cabinets.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately and keep paint in good condition. 
  • Repair problems when they are small. Repair small areas of damaged paint as soon as possible.
  • Follow lead-safe work practices.
  • Know when to call in the professionals. 
  • In rooms children spend time in, clean painted surfaces and floors with a wet cloth, sponge or mop.

How can I clean the school and child care facility to remove lead dust?

Clean areas where children play. Regularly wet-wipe window wells and sills and other painted surfaces to remove lead dust. Clean top-to-bottom and mop floors last.

Use a HEPA vacuum. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums remove very small particles, including lead dust.