Information for Parents

Healthy Rental Housing

How do I live and work safely with lead in my home?
How can I find a lead professional?
How do I test for lead?
Related links


How do I live and work safely with lead in my home?

HUD Visual Assessment training - Take this on-line training to learn how to identify and address deteriorated paint.

How can I find a lead professional?

Lead in Toys

There have been many toys taken off the market because they contain lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists products that cannot be sold because of lead content.

Toys that sometimes have lead in them include:

  • toys made of PVC plastic (vinyl),
  • cheap metal jewelry.
  • painted toys made in countries with low labor costs such as China.

Avoid buying cheap metal jewelry and toys made of vinyl.

How can toys be tested for lead?

  • If you own painted toys, you can use LeadChecks to find out if there is lead paint or lead dust on the surface of a toy. If the LeadCheck turns pink or red, then the toy may have lead on it.
  • Laboratory testing can tell how much lead is in a toy, but a piece of the toy must be broken off and used for the testing.
  • Testing with an XRF, a hand-held piece of testing equipment, can tell you if there is any lead in the toy, but it cannot tell you exactly how much. An XRF must be operated by a person who is licensed to use it, and is very expensive to use. Some organizations may offer toy testing with an XRF at special events so they also can teach people about lead in housing.

The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine helps support a web site with information on healthy toys.

The National Center for Healthy Housing - (pdf) Fact sheet to help parents understand recalls of toys tainted with lead paint.

Testing for Lead in Toys – Consumer Product Safety Commission study shows home lead test kits unreliable for testing for lead in toys.

Lead in Candy

Lead is sometimes found in imported food products, including candy. These products may be found for sale at local stores or online.

The California Department of Public Health issues health alerts when they find contaminated food products. This web site has more information including an alphabetical listing of candies with photographs.

The US Food and Drug Administration also maintain a searchable list of products recalled because they contain lead. Click on “Sort by relevance” enter “lead” in the search box, and click “Search”.

Related Links

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Maine Housing - Lead Hazard Control Program