Lead-based paint, lead chips and lead dust can pose serious health hazards and is still a serious concern in Iowa. Many homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 contain lead-based paint hazards on both interior and exterior surfaces. Buildings built before 1960 pose the most significant health risks. Whether you own your home or manage rental properties, it is very important to care for the lead-painted surfaces. Lead-based paint in good condition is usually not harmful, so it’s important to keep paint in good condition.
If the home was built before 1978 and is owner-occupied, follow these steps to minimize or prevent lead exposure:
- Assume all painted surfaces contain lead-based paint and maintain them to keep the paint in good condition.
- Regularly check your home for chipping, peeling or deteriorating paint, and address issues promptly without excessive sanding. If you must sand, sand the minimum area needed, wet the area first, and clean up thoroughly.
- Regularly check all painted areas that rub together or get lots of wear, like windows, doors and stairways, for any signs of deterioration.
- Regularly check for paint chips or dust – if you see some, remove carefully with a damp paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel.
- Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, at least weekly with a damp paper towel and throw the paper towel away.
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust.
For more information on preventing lead exposure in owner-occupied properties, download a copy of the brochure Lead Paint: Protecting Iowa Families.
Most cities and communities in Iowa have building and housing codes that require rental properties to be maintained and kept safe for tenants. Maintaining and keeping painted surfaces intact in homes built prior to 1978 is key to minimizing and preventing lead exposure.
In rental properties built before 1978, landlords should follow these steps to protect tenants and minimize or prevent lead exposure:
- Hire a lead certified professional who can test painted surfaces for lead, and properly repair surfaces with chipping, peeling or deteriorating paint.
- Maintain and keep paint intact on all interior and exterior components covered with paint.
- Tell tenants about known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases are signed.
- Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint unless an Iowa certified inspector has checked the property and said in writing that it is lead-based paint free. Disclosure forms can be found in the booklet “Lead Poisoning: How to Protect Iowa Families” located in the Resources section.
- Notify tenants before any maintenance, renovation or repair work is done on the property that may disturb lead paint. Pre-renovation notification forms can be found in the booklet “Lead Poisoning: How to Protect Iowa Families” located in the Resources section.
For more information on preventing lead exposure in rental properties, download a copy of the brochure Lead Paint: Protecting Iowa Families.
For more information on lead poisoning contact us at 1-800-972-2026 or online at Contact Us.