Lead Paint

Lead-based paint was used in millions of buildings until it was banned from use in 1978. Exposure to lead paint and lead dust can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Lead is also harmful to adults at higher levels.

Lead Paint is defined as paint containing more than 0.5% lead by weight; or painted surfaces more than 1.0 mg/cm2 lead by XRF.

Lead paint testing by a trained and certifed lead professional is the best way to manage potential lead exposures that may be present in your environment.

Who is Affected:

Contractors:  Renovation or demolition activities in older facilities can disturb lead paint.

OSHA mandates that employers protect their employees from exposures at or above the action level. Certain "trigger tasks" require the employer to provide workplace protections and respiratory protection until a job specific exposure determination can be made.

EMC can provide lead paint bulk sampling, XRF analysis and air sampling for employee exposure.

Homeowners and Business Owners:  Deteriorating paint or renovation activities can create exposures

In Wisconsin, a child’s exposure to lead paint is regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) while employee exposure is regulated by OSHA/DSPS.  The Wisconsin DNR regulates the disposal of lead and lead-containing materials.


Renovation and demolition projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger building occupants and employees.  These types of projects may be regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Health if they are in:

  • Target Housing (constructed prior to 1978)
  • Conversion of a building into Target Housing
  • Or work in a Child-Occupied Facility (A Child-Occupied Facility is defined as a building or a portion of a building including common areas constructed prior to 1978 that is either a licensed daycare, a public or private school attended by a child under 6, a portion of a building visited by the same child under 6 on at least 2 different days per week, 3 hours per day and at least 60 hours per year).

Program Requirements:

Prior to any renovation, repair or painting activity that will disturb painted components (greater than 6 square feet interior, 20 square feet exterior, or window removal) in a Target Housing or a Child-Occupied Facility, renovators must comply with the following:

  • Use of Certified Lead Renovators
  • Use of Certified Lead Firm
  • Pre-Renovation Education
  • Lead-Safe Work Protocols
  • Training of All Workers on Work Site
  • Post Warning Signs
  • Containment of Work Area
  • Prohibited Activities
  • Proper Waste handling
  • Documented Cleaning
  • Post Activity Visual Inspection
  • Post Renovation Cleaning Verification/Sampling
  • Retention of Records