lead test kit showing evidence of lead paint on a door

Home renovation and repair projects can create dangerous lead dust inside and outside of your house. Even small projects like installing a closet storage system, replacing a light fixture or repainting a window can create lead dust.

Both adults and children can be poisoned by breathing or swallowing dust that contains lead. Young children are at highest risk.

Houses that were built before 1978 could have lead paint. Those built before 1950 are the most likely to have lead paint.

Home repairs will always be necessary and are important for your family's health and safety. If you're planning to repaint or remodel, there are things you can do to ensure the work is carried out safely.


Ask your contractor

If your home was built before 1978 and you are hiring a contractor to work on your home:

  • Ask the contractor if they have lead-safe trained and certified staff.
  • Ask if they have the correct Construction Contractor's Board (CCB) licenses to do the work safely and in compliance with Oregon rules. (They should be able to provide you with copies of these documents).
  • Ask to put specific language about lead-safe work practices in the contract. How will the project be set up? How will the work be done safely? What will be done to clean up at the end of each day and at the end of the project?

Report unsafe renovation activity»

Do-it-Yourself Safely

If you are working on your own home that you live in and no part of the home is rented out to others, you can:

  • Learn the basics of lead-safe work practices. This lead-safe work practices can help you do the work safely.
  • Plan carefully before you begin projects so that you do your work in the safest way possible. The Community Energy Project offers a free class on lead-safe work practices that can help you learn how.
  • Your neighbors may be concerned about lead dust and debris getting on their property. Make sure that all dust and debris is carefully contained and disposed of safely.


Working on homes built before 1978? The federal Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) applies to many projects in or on homes built before 1978.

  • At least one person in your company must attend a class on lead-safe work practices to become a Certified Renovator. This training is good for 5 years. Find upcoming classes»
  • In Oregon, your company must have a special Lead Based Paint Renovator license from the Oregon Construction Contractor's Board (CCB) and renew it annually. 

Copies of both the Certified Renovator training certificate and the Lead-Based Paint Renovator license must be on site at all projects when:

  • More than 6 square feet of lead paint will be disturbed per interior room, or
  • More than 20 square feet of exterior paint will be disturbed on the whole house or facility occupied by young children.


State and federal lead-based paint regulations apply to work you do on properties you own if they were built before 1978.

  • Landlords who do work on their own properties must take a class on lead-safe work practices and become Certified Renovators. Find upcoming classes»
  • After getting the training certificate, landlords must also apply for a special license from the Oregon Health Authority Lead-Based Paint Program.
  • Make sure you have a copy of both the training certificate and license on site at projects at all times.

Questions? Call the Leadline