Repair chipping paint, especially old paint. "If you live in an older home (pre-1978), and you have chipping peeling or flaking, you want to repair that safely," she said. That means not dry scraping but wet scraping -- and probably getting professional advice if you decide to do it yourself.
Know that a little lead can go a long way. "A lead chip the size of a nickel, if broken down, could contaminate a 3,000-square-foot house," Norton said.
Minimize exposure, especially if you live in an older neighborhood that's likely to have lead in the soil. "Leave your shoes at the door," she said. "Have a welcome mat you can wash off."
Find out more about lead poisoning at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
SOURCES: Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D., professor and department chair, earth sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Ruth Ann Norton, executive director, Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Baltimore; August 2008, Applied Geochemistry