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  • Setting Up To Work Outside

Exterior work often produces dust, paint chips, larger pieces of material, and liquids that contain lead. It is easy to track dust containing lead inside your home, where it can pose a hazard. Trash that contains lead also can contaminate the soil surrounding the house if you don't handle it correctly. To avoid contaminating the areas surrounding your house, take the following precautions:

  • If using a ladder, anchor it securely to the ground, not to the plastic which can be punctured.

  • If wind speeds exceed 20 mph, or if it begins to rain, stop and complete cleanup.

  • One lead-safe entryway should be made available to residents at all times. Do not treat front and rear entrances simultaneously if there is not a third doorway.

  • Cover the ground and any plants or flowers with 6mil polyethylene plastic sheeting to catch dust and trash. A single sheet of polyethylene plastic sheeting, at least 6 mils thick, should extend at least 5 feet from the base of the dwelling and an additional 3 feet for each additional story.

  • All windows, including windows in adjacent dwellings, within 20 feet of the work area should be kept closed.

  • Playground equipment, sandboxes, and toys should be moved at least 20 feet away from the work area. If items cannot be moved from the area, then they should be sealed with plastic sheeting.

  • Remove personal belongings from the area before starting work.

  • Carpet Removal

If you plan to remove or replace your carpet as part of a remodeling job, take the following steps to avoid spreading lead dust:

  • Mist the entire surface of the carpet with water to keep dust down.

  • Roll the carpet inward to avoid spreading dust to other areas.

  • Wrap carpet and pad in 6 mil polyethylene plastic sheeting. Tape seams closed with duct tape.

  • Vacuum floor with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner after the carpet is wrapped but before you remove it.

  • HEPA vacuum the floor again after you remove the carpet.

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Figure 159: Mist carpet surfaces with water to reduce spread of dust.

 

  • HVAC Ductwork

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system ducts can accumulate dust for many years. If you suspect that the dust contains lead, follow these steps when replacing or cleaning the ducts:

  • Cover the floor under the ducts with 6mil polyethylene plastic sheeting to catch dry falling dust.

  • Use a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the inside of the ducts before beginning work.

  • Rinse the duct pieces in an area well away from the house before reinstalling them. If you are disposing of old duct pieces, first wrap them in plastic and seal with duct tape.

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Figure 160: Heating and air conditioning ducts can accumulate dust that contains lead.

  • Minor Repairs

If you plan to conduct minor repairs on painted surfaces, such as repairing or replacing a door lock, repairing a door, drilling holes to install shelves, or sawing into painted wood or plaster, then wet methods and simple cleaning can reduce hazards of lead dust:

  • Cover the floor under the work area with 6 mil polyethylene plastic sheeting to catch any sludge or dust.

  • Spray the work area surface with water to reduce the amount of dust generated during the minor repair.

  • To eliminate friction points on a door, first mist the door, then remove the door to plane it. Keep door surfaces being planed wet during repair. Replace the door when the work is complete.

  • Vacuum the floor under the work area and all surfaces within 5 feet of the work area with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner.

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