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© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide discusses precautions do-it-yourself home remodelers should take when working with surfaces that may contain lead-based paint. It also addresses the effects of lead poisoning in children and adults and testing surfaces for lead-based paint.


All it takes is a trip to one of the discount lumber yards on a Sunday afternoon to realize the huge number of do-it-yourself home remodelers. Books and videos making projects and repairs look simple line the aisles.

Home remodeling isn't simple, though. Before beginning a project one needs to plan. In homes built before 1978, do-it-yourself home remodelers need to consider the possible presence of lead-based paint and take precautions to minimize the risk of lead poisoning for themselves, children, pregnant women and other adults.

Lead-based paint is generally associated with childhood lead poisoning. Small amounts of lead in the body can do serious harm to the developing brain and nervous system of a young child.