resources to protect my household from lead

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What can I do if I’m concerned about lead in my water?

Residents can test the lead levels in their water and, if needed, replace water pipes:

I need to talk to someone. Who can I call? 

  • If this is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

  • To request city services and information about lead protection, call 311.

  • If you are a renter concerned about lead exposure, contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate to discuss your rights at (202) 719-6560.

  • Or reach out to The Department of Energy and Environment at (202) 535-2600, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

What can I do if I’m concerned about lead-based paint in my home?

Residents can test their home for lead-based paint and check their family for lead exposure:

  • We offer the Lead Reduction Program to eligible households, which tests the lead levels in paint and, if needed, offers financial assistance for lead paint repairs.

  • Ask your doctor to test your child for lead. A blood test is the only way to know if your child is being exposed to lead. By law, all children who live in the District of Columbia must be tested for lead at ages 6–14 months and 22–26 months. An easy way to remember: Test every child, twice by two.

  • Trying to fix or do work on a surface painted with lead-based paint without training on how to do so safely can create additional hazards. You also must follow lead-safe practices anytime you’re renovating, removing mold, or making other changes to a surface painted with lead-based paint in a property built before 1978. To have your home tested for lead-based paint and to make sure lead-based paint is remedied safely, work with a DC-certified paint professional and get permits for your project.

I have a question that’s not covered here. Who can I contact?

You can reach out to The Department of Energy and Environment at (202) 535-2600, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Or, you can email the team at doee@dc.gov with the subject line “Lead Protection Question.”

This page only covers resources available through us—DC Government—and our contractors. It was last updated in March 2021.

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