Childhood Lead
Poisoning Prevention

MCAH Programs

Contact Information
Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning
Prevention Program (CLPPP)

5555 Ferguson Drive
Suite 210-02
Commerce, CA 90022
(800) LA-4-LEAD
Fax (323) 890-8736

Painters and Contractors

Lead-Related Construction

Federal law requires contractors that are hired to perform renovation, repair and painting projects in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 that disturb painted surfaces to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

If you wish to become certified to do lead-related construction work in California, you must take training from one of the Department of Public Health's (CDPH) accredited training providers. To find out where you can take this training, visit the CDPH Lead-Related Construction Training website.

The work practices the contractor must follow include these procedures:

Contain the Work Area

The area must be contained so that dust and debris do not escape from that area. Warning signs must be put up and plastic or other impermeable material and tape must be used as appropriate to:

  • Cover the floors and any furniture that cannot be moved.
  • Seal off doors and heating and cooling system vents.
  • For exterior renovations, cover the ground and, in some instances, erect vertical containment or equivalent extra precautions in containing the work area.

These work practices will help prevent dust or debris from getting outside the work area.

Avoid renovation methods that generate large amounts of lead-contaminated dust

Some methods generate so much lead-contaminated dust that their use is prohibited. They are:

  • Open flame burning or torching.
  • Sanding, grinding, planing, needle gunning, or blasting with power tools and equipment not equipped with a shroud and HEPA vacuum attachment.
  • Using a heat gun at temperatures greater than 1100°F.

There is no way to eliminate dust, but some renovation methods make less dust than others. Contractors may choose to use various methods to minimize dust generation, including using water to mist areas before sanding or scraping; scoring paint before separating components; and prying and pulling apart components instead of breaking them.

Clean Up Thoroughly

The work area should be cleaned up daily to keep it as clean as possible. When all the work is done, the area must be cleaned up using special cleaning methods before taking down any plastic that isolates the work area from the rest of the home. The special cleaning methods should include:

  • Using a HEPA vacuum to clean up dust and debris on all surfaces, followed by
  • Wet wiping and wet mopping with plenty of rinse water.

When the final cleaning is done, look around. There should be no dust, paint chips, or debris in the work area. If you see any dust, paint chips, or debris, the area must be re-cleaned.

Lead-Safe Work Practices Training

Our program can provide lead-safe work practices training to contractors, local government agencies, and property owners/property management companies at no cost. Request a training here.


Outreach Services


Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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