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What is lead?

Lead is a soft, bluish metallic chemical element mined from rock and found in it's natural state all over the world. Lead is virtully indestructible, it is persistent, and has been known since antiquity for it's adaptability in making various useful items. In modern times, it has been used to manufacture many different products, including paint, batteries, pipes, solder, pottery, and gasoline.

Lead in paint

Through the 1940s, paint manufacturers frequently used lead as a primary ingredient in many oil-based interior and exterior house paints. Usage gradually decreased through the 1950s and 1960s as titanium dioxide replaced lead and as latex paints became more widely available.

To protect against lead paint related risks and injuries the USEPA, as of April 22, 2010, has issued a set of rules requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other safety issues aimed at preventing any injuries related to lead poisoning. There are specific rules and work practices to prevent lead contamination on buildings built before 1978. All trades will need to attend a training course to get certified in these lead safe practices.

For more information on lead compliance including training please visit

Tools and supplies required

  • Barriers and signs
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Heavy plastic sheeting
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Wet/dry sandpaper, sanding sponge
  • Missing bottle, pump sprayer
  • Chemical stripper
  • Power tools with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter equipped vacumm attachments
  • Low-temperature heat gun
  • Heavy-duty plastic bags
  • HEPA vacuum cleaner
  • Paper towels or disposable wipes
  • Mop and disposable mop heads
  • General-purpose cleaner
  • Buckets
  • Shovel and rake
  • Eye wear
  • Painters hats
  • Gloves
  • Coveralls
  • Disposable shoe covers
  • N-100 rated disposable respirator


Parvo's Paint & Wallpaper Center • 679 West Main Rd., Middletown, RI 02842 • Tel: 401-849-3500 • Fax: 401-849-9380 • Email: