Alameda County Healthy Homes

Community Subscriber
(510) 567-8280
Editors' Notes: 
  • This agency was previously known as Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention program.

Established in 1991, the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department has become a national leader in childhood lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes programs, combining health, environmental and residential hazard reduction services under one umbrella. The Alameda County Healthy Homes Department's unique multidisciplinary approach serves the community in order to eliminate environmental lead contamination, prevent childhood lead poisoning and improve health outcomes by addressing housing problems. The Program provides case management of lead poisoned children, community outreach and education, training, lead hazard reduction services, healthy homes interventions, and consultations.

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Jan 2014

RE: Neighbor's construction, Lead paint and asbestos

Contact Alameda County - Healthy Homes Department, They should be able to provide direction. Additionally, asbestos & lead-paint surveys/abatement procedures are typically part of the permitting process. I would be concerned too! Enviro momma

Call Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention. They offer a lot of free services that can help with your situation. 510-567-8280, or website: J

Call Healthy Homes program of Alameda County, ask them to send an inspector. That'll do it. 510 567-8280 Used to be the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

First, this definitely sounds like an area to keep your children away from. It takes very little lead dust to poison and potentially cause life-long neurological problems. Renovations can create high levels of lead dust. For this reason there are State and Federal laws requiring training, certification and containment of paint chips and dust (as well as asbestos) when working on pre-1978 homes, and it sounds from your description that the contractor is not in compliance. The contractor should also thoroughly cleanup the paint chips and dust.

The Alameda County Healthy Homes Department, ACHHD, (previously known as the Lead Poisoning Prevention Department) provides information, in-home consultations, and assistance with unsafe renovation problems. Funds and project management are also available for lead hazard repairs in homes with low-income families and young children. You can call their public information line at 510-567-8280. The City of Berkeley also has a lead poisoning prevention program that may be able to help.

I highly recommend that you have your children tested for lead as soon as possible. Keep them out of the work site and other contaminated areas. If you are eating any produce from the garden it should be thoroughly washed before anyone eats it and measures taken to not track leaded soil into the home.

For more information, call the ACHHD at 510-567-8280 or visit their website at Julie

Regarding the lead: You are right to be concerned about lead exposure, especially for your kids. Work involving lead-based paint is regulated by both the Federal and state governments, and workers must be properly certified. I'd suggest contacting the Alameda County Healthy Homes Dept. There's a lot of info on their website about lead poisoning. I couldn't easily figure out if they do enforcement if lead-safe practice aren't being followed, but they should be able to refer you to whomever does. Good luck. Anon

Feb 2012

RE: Lead paint remediation

The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is no longer providing lead paint or soil testing services or test kits. But the Program is continuing to offer free in-home consultations and classes to owners of pre-1978 residential properties in Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland. Financial and technical assistance services are also available for rental properties with low-income tenants. And healthy homes services are available for eligible families with a child with asthma to help reduce asthma triggers in the home. For more information call the public information line at 510-567-8280 or visit

Remember, even very small amounts of lead can cause serious long term health effects for your child. Make sure they are tested at 12 and 24 months if you have any reason to suspect they may have been exposed to lead. And learn how to work lead-safe on your home. Call the Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 510-567-8280 if you have any questions. Julie

Oct 2008

RE: Best way to remove lead-based paint from trim?

In our previous house we had some areas with lead paint. I did a lot web research, and thru Alameda County there was a program where they'd give Alameda residents a lead removal kit and info on how to do it yourself. I don't know if the kits are still available (I got mine at thru the Osh Hardware on Ashby), but the same information on how to remove lead paint that was in the kit was on line. The kit had: a disposable coverall, disposable mask, scraper, a spray bottle, and this liquid to dilute in the spray bottle (to spray on the lead paint areas to minimize dust as you scraped). They said to rent a vacum with a HEPA filter (we got one from some industrial rental company on MacCarther, found it in the phone book). The kit said to wear the coverall and mask, and scrape off as much of the flaking lead paint as you could, spraying the area as you went to stabalize any dust, then vacumming everything up with the HEPA vac. Then when all loose material was scraped off, to prime the area then paint over it. That was it. Very simple. If you are painting over lead paint and it is still flaking up, then you may be using the wrong type of paint. For example, if you are painting latex on top of an older oil based paint, then it won't stick. another broke homeowner


Another approach to removing porch paint is to rent a high pressure washer and blast it off. I was going to do that, but found thru a free visit from the Alameda County Lead Abatement Program (567-8280) that it would be hard to contain the lead. I painted over the ugly paint. The lead abatement program is a great resource, for measuring lead in homes, and supplying information and equipment to take care of -Shirley