Lead Dust During Construction and Demolition

Photo of house after the lead-based painted siding was removed.
Photo taken in Portland Oregon after the lead-based painted siding was removed from this house prior to demolition.


Federal law requires contractors, property managers, and others who are being paid to take precautions when disturbing lead-based painted surfaces. The rule, EPA’s 2008 Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program Rule (RRP) applies to homes, apartments, child care facilities, schools and other child-occupied buildings built before 1978.

For residents doing their own alterations, refer to EPA’s brochure for residents to protect your family from lead. You can dispose of lead-based paint and paint chips at local Hazardous Waste Disposal Locations.


Water must be sprayed during demolitions to help control windblown fine materials such as soil, concrete dust and paint chips. For more information on what is required, please see Dust Control and Water Usage.

Full building demolition could trigger lead dust control measures when the Green Building Standard applies or when using Priority Green Expedited. When removing a building built before 1978, the best practice is to remove lead-based painted material from the exterior of the building prior to mechanical demolition. Other options to mitigate lead dust, such as deconstruction or avoiding demolition of the existing structure may be utilized. For more information on what is required, please see Director’s Rule 4-2021 and SDCI Green Building.

For more information on lead safety




Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.