Rhode Island, which has the fifth-oldest housing stock in the nation, has one of its most serious lead problems. The most prevalent lead exposure in Rhode Island comes from lead-based paint and lead dust found in residences built before 1978.
Homeowners should maintain their homes to keep them lead safe and correct damaged, chipping, or flaking paint immediately. Landlords have additional requirements to protect their tenants from lead hazards. (more)
Cleaning regularly will help you reduce your exposure to lead in paint, dust, and soil. Clean or remove shoes or use a doormat before entering your home to prevent tracking in soil that may contain lead.
Wet clean floors, stairs, and “friction areas” weekly. Friction areas are certain vulnerable surfaces of your home that include windows, stair treads, and sometimes doors and door frames, when they bind. Paint in these areas can produce lead dust even if it is not peeling. Use a mop or sponge with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a lead specific cleaning agent. Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dusty or dirty areas. (more)
Lead can be found in many places in your home, such as in peeling and chipping lead paint, dust from lead paint, soil in your yard, tap water from lead pipes or lead solder, pottery, crystal, ceramic dishes, and toys.
If you see chipping or peeling paint in the interior of your home, or if you see damaged paint or bare soil outside your home:
If renovation, repair, or painting will disturb six square feet or more of paint per room on the interior or 20 square feet or more of paint on the exterior of a pre-1978 house, the Rhode Island Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requires you to hire a licensed Lead Hazard Control Firm. (more)
If renovations will disturb exterior paint, Department of Environmental Management Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 24 requires you to give neighbors living within 50 feet of your home five days written notice of the work.
You can hire a Rhode Island Certified Environmental Lead Inspector to test paint, soil, dust, and water in and around your home for lead hazards. A clearance inspection that includes dust wipe samples is required after interior renovation, repair, or painting in pre-1978 homes. (more)
Rhode Island law requires owners of properties built before 1978 to disclose information about known and potential lead exposure hazards before the sale or rental of residential property. To comply with the law: