Lead

Lead is a dangerous waste that shows up in many products and industries. We can help you manage your lead-containing waste properly.

The dangerous waste regulations have thresholds for lead in waste. If your waste contains lead, designate it. Common dangerous wastes that may contain lead include:

Regulations

Household waste

Lead-based paint debris from renovation, remodeling, and abatement of residences is considered household waste. This may include paint chips and dust, doors, painted woodwork, and window frames. This waste can be disposed of as regular garbage.

Demolition waste

Take samples for lab analysis to determine if construction debris is dangerous waste. For any buildings scheduled for demolition, it must be determined if the debris resulting from the destroyed building is considered dangerous waste.

Test older buildings intended for demolition for lead. If lead concentrations exceed dangerous waste thresholds, manage the structure or its lead-bearing components as dangerous waste.

Lead pipe usually designates as dangerous waste and should not be disposed as regular garbage. Remove lead before renovation or demolition, separate from the waste pile, and recycle as scrap metal.

Reference our construction and demolition debris page for more information on this waste stream.

Toxicity and health effects

Workers exposed to lead are at risk of lead poisoning and can unknowingly carry hazardous substances home, exposing their families and causing various health effects. Most cases of childhood lead poisoning are caused by paint, house dust, and contaminated soil in their home and neighborhood. Young children are most at risk from lead exposure, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream, soft tissue, bones and teeth.

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry has information on the toxicity of lead.

Reducing lead in the workplace

Labor and Industries discusses worker safety in industries that deal with lead. They have information on lead poisoning in radiator repair work and scrap metal recycling.