Home renovation and repair projects can create dangerous lead dust in and around your home.

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 when they breathe or swallow dust that contains lead. Young children are at highest risk. They spend time close to the floor where dust is, and often put their hands in their mouths.

Houses built before 1978 could have lead paint, and those built before 1940 are most likely to have it.

Home repairs will always be necessary and are important for your family's health and safety. If you plan to repaint or remodel, here are some ways to make sure the work is carried out safely.


Ask Your Contractor

If your home was built before 1978 and you're hiring a contractor, ask:

  • If they have a plan for lead paint safety.
  • To see their current Lead-Based Paint Renovator license from the Construction Contractor's Board (CCB) 
  • For 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?

See if your contractor is lead-certified»
Report unsafe renovation activity»

lead test kit showing evidence of lead paint on a door

Do-it-Yourself Safely

If you're working on your own home that you live in and no part is rented out to others:

  • Learn the basics of lead-safe work practices (PDF)
  • Plan carefully before you begin projects so you can 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. 

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

  • More than 6 square feet of lead paint will be disturbed in each room, or
  • More than 20 square feet of exterior paint will be disturbed on a whole house or building occupied by young children
  • Replacing windows in any home built before 1978


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

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

Questions? Call the Leadline