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Lead-Based Paint

601. Lead-Based Paint (LBP)

Lead was a major ingredient in many types of paint prior to and through World War II. In the early 1950s, other pigments became more popular, but lead was still used in some pigments and as a drying agent. In 1973, the Consumer Product Safety Commission established a maximum lead content of 0.5 percent by weight; in 1978, it was lowered to 0.06 percent. Most scientific literature assumes buildings painted prior to 1978 contain LBP. All building surfaces painted before 1978 should be assumed to contain paint with lead, even if only a single layer (of many) contains lead.


  • Use chemical strippers that do not contain Methylene Chloride to remove as much paint as possible.
  • If sanding is required following use of chemical strippers, use wet sanding of stripped surfaces and paint residues.
  • For the repainting of small, uneven areas, use filler in the area, then sand the filler for acceptable paint coverage; minimize sanding the actual paint.
  • With a wet cloth, rag or paper towel, wipe all sanded surfaces after wet sanding or sanding of filler. Do not dispose in the normal municipal trash.
  • When removing paint from exterior surfaces, place a covering over all shrubs, grounds and other surfaces so all paint residues can be captured for proper disposal.
  • The following personal hygiene practices shall be implemented:
    • Food preparation and eating shall be prohibited in areas where LBP is being handled.
    • All persons involved in LBP handling or removal shall wash hands and exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the work site.
  • The following clothing shall be worn during paint activities:
    • When using chemical strippers:
      • Chemical splash goggles;
      • Full-body coveralls, cloth or disposable; and
      • Gloves appropriate for the chemical components of the stripper being used.
    • When conducting wet-sanding activities:
      • Full-body coveralls, cloth or disposable; and
      • Gloves; or wash hands immediately following sanding activities or before eating.
  • Coveralls worn by employees during scraping or sanding of paint shall not be taken home and shall be laundered at the end of the day.
  • Employees wearing coveralls while handling caustic strippers shall dispose of the clothing when it becomes visibly contaminated, in accordance with established guidelines.  
  • If disposable gloves are worn, they shall not be disposed of in the normal trash at the end of each workday or when they have visible tears. If reusable gloves are used, they shall be washed free of visible contamination at the end of each day or upon leaving the work site.
  • All employees involved in paint handling activities should be trained in proper procedures prior to the start of work.
  • Lead containing material should be disposed of in accordance with established guidelines. Contact the Environmental Health and Safety office for disposal.
  • Be sure to advise contractors prior to bidding for projects of the possibility of the presence of LBP.


  • All employees involved in paint handling activities should be trained in proper procedures prior to the start of work. 
  • Maintain accurate, centralized training records.