County of Marin Health and Human Services

Marin County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Marin County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program works towards eliminating childhood lead poisoning and promoting lead-safe work practices.  Lead-based paint is of a particular concern in Marin County, where more than 74% of the housing was built before 1978.  The older the home, the more likely that there are high levels of lead in the paint. Chipping paint, flaking paint, or paint that is being scraped, sanded, or disturbed during remodeling or repairing can create lead dust.

Contractors: Lead-Safe Work Practices

The Marin County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program reaches out to workers about how to protect themselves and their loved ones. On the job, workers need to protect themselves from exposure to lead dust. At home, workers can carry dust on their clothing back to their homes, and expose their children to lead.

Every applicant for a building permit involving a structure built before January 1, 1978 must show proof of successful completion of the Lead-Safe Work Practices Quiz.  If all questions are answered correctly, you will be prompted to continue to the “LSWP Certificate” page. Your name and the date you took the Quiz will be displayed automatically on the Certificate.  The certificate is valid for one year.

  1. Print and Sign the Certificate
  2. Attach to your building permit application.
  3. Keep a copy for any future permit applications. 

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

The Marin County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program focuses on several approaches to keep kids lead-safe.  Educational outreach is conducted year-round with community partners.  

Top Tips for Lead Poisoning Prevention:

  1. Learn about and avoid toys with lead.  Start by checking toy recalls and children's product recalls.  
  2. Consider hiring a certified inspector to check for lead hazards in older homes.  
  3. Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord if you live an older home built before 1978.

Top Tips for Lead Poisoning Prevention in Water:

1. Let the water run for at least 30 seconds prior to using it for drinking or cooking.

2. Let the water run for a longer period of time (1 to 5 minutes until the water feels cold), if the household water has not been used for 6 hours or longer.

3. Conserve water by using the water that initially comes from the tap for watering plants or for outdoor landscaping.

4. Always use water from the cold tap.  If water needs to be heated, draw water from the cold water tap and heat the water on the stove, teapot or in the microwave.

5. Remove the faucet strainers from household taps and remove any loose solder or debris that may be in the strainer.  Let the water run for 3 to 5 minutes with the faucet strainer removed in order to discharge any additional solid debris. The strainer may be replaced and periodically monitored for debris as needed. (Applies to homes built in the last 5 years or with recent plumbing work).