Prevent lead poisoning in young children

Get help to find lead sources in your home and fix them.

What to do

Children less than six years old put many things in their mouths. They can get lead poisoning easily. 

Older children and adults rarely get lead poisoning from their home environment. Find out more about lead poisoning in adults.

Follow these steps to reduce lead poisoning risks in a young child’s home environment.

1. Find lead sources that children might put into their mouths

Check for multiple sources of lead in the home. Paint, dust, and soil are the most common sources of lead in San Francisco.

2. Clarify any questions or concerns

Speak with a health educator about reducing the sources of lead found inside the home.

3. Inspect your home for lead paint, dust, and soil hazards

A lead inspection is not necessary to prevent lead poisoning.  Speak with a health educator to find out how.  Call 415-252-3800.

There are 2 options for home inspections:

  • Schedule an inspection with a City lead inspector

The Department of Public Health will require the property owner to correct lead hazards. The property owner cannot retaliate against the tenant for the inspection or the requirement to correct the lead hazards.

  • Hire your own inspector

The inspector must be a current California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Lead-Certified Inspector/Risk assessor.

4. Get professional help to fix lead problems

Fix lead paint, dust, and soil problems one of three ways:

  1. Hiring a CDPH Lead-certified contractor to ensure better protection of the occupants. 


Property owners who have received a Health Department notice to correct lead hazards must hire a CDPH lead-certified contractor.

  1. Doing it yourself. You must follow San Francisco Department of Building Inspection rules and work safely to protect the occupants and the neighbors.


5. Get your water tested

Water is not the most common source of lead hazard in San Francisco.

Complete an application and send it along with a fee to the SF Public Utilities Commission (Water Department).

Last updated May 21, 2024