I'm 17, I wanted to decorate my bedroom and decided to start stripping the wallpaper as my dad is working on other things at the moment (planning on moving house soon). Our house was built around 1974 so it's likely there is lead paint on the walls (or under a newer layer). I didn't cover my bed or my carpet or anything and now my carpet must have microscopic lead particles as i've read online can be quite dangerous. My mum has cleaned up my room (even though I said i'll do it) and she has vacuumed the bits of wallpaper up. I've heard that lead dust is blown into the air if you do that.

What is my risk of getting lead poisoning from airborne lead paint dust. I was wet stripping the woodchip wallpaper with a wet sponge after scoring the wall to help it penetrate easier.

My parents think i'm mad and I can't afford one of these "HEPA vacuums". Is my room that dangerous to live in and sleep in ? What can I do ?


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    Are you wild-guessing or have you actually tested for lead? Sep 6, 2017 at 1:16
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    Your house may have been built in 1974 but that doesn't mean the wallpaper was put up in 1974. Often woodchip was put up to cover imperfections in the plaster and that could have been many years after the house was built. Wet stripping the wallpaper shouldn't have caused much damage to the original surface paint
    – barrowc
    Sep 6, 2017 at 1:43

3 Answers 3


What can I do?

You could get a sample tested for lead. For example there is a 3M product called LeadCheck.

From what I've read: in the UK, lead-based paint was mostly used on woodwork. The relevant Wikipedia article suggests this. lead chromate was not used on walls after the early 1970s.


Likely non leachable so not much to worry about. Vacuum with hepa filter . Half madk while doing so . Dispose of in regular garbage . If it doesn't get runny when wet its non leachable and the risk factor is minimal as long as you use a hepa filter on vacuum and p100 filtets on your mask


What you could have done was get a mask for lead based paint - microfibers - like painters air particulate masks. Then you could have easily cleaned up the mess with your vacuum (let the vacuum sit outside and the hose inside.

With your version of the word 'Mom' used as 'Mum' - are you in the UK or Michigan?

Put your sheets outside and vacuum them outside.

You should have worn protective equipment while cleaning the paint because you breathed those particulates in. Before any painting job on an old home - lead based paint test should be completed.

Lead based paints were outlawed in the USA in 1978 - however that did not mean that you could not get stocks of those paints after that date - nor did it guarantee that people did not already have stocks of them and paint rooms or paint the house with it.




Lead based Paint Precautions and Health Safety Information

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    And it's not like paint companies worked really hard to put lead in paint right up until December 31 1977. They knew the lad ban was coming years ai Sep 6, 2017 at 1:18
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    As I was saying before I was so rudely interupted ...years in advance, and phased it out as soon as they could. What's more, the health dangers of lead were well known by 1976, and nobody wanted to buy houses with it, and no doubt your house was sold by the builder as lead-free. Sep 6, 2017 at 1:22
  • @Harper you know to change a production run system over in a factory takes work and planning - the old lines run until the new lines come on line and if December 31st,1977 met that goal - it was done. Stores did not throw out their stock on December 31st,1977 either. I would not just assume the house does not have lead based paint. Anywhere in the range of 1978-1982 I would expect I might find it. learnvest.com/knowledge-center/…
    – Ken
    Sep 6, 2017 at 2:33

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