Lead poisoning is serious—especially for children—and many homes built before 1978 have lead paint.

What can I do to keep my family safe from lead paint?

  • Keep your children away from peeling paint, chipping paint or paint dust.
  • Get your children tested for lead. Ask your child’s doctor to test for lead.  Any elevated lead level is cause for concern and action.
  • Do a home lead test. Many hardware stores sell home lead test kits for around $10. Make sure the test is EPA-approved.
  • Ask your landlord to certify that the property is lead-safe or lead-free.

Is my landlord required to certify that the property is lead-safe or lead-free?


  • You rent a property built before 1978
  • You have a child age 6 or under
  • You signed your lease after December 2012
  • And you do not receive a rental subsidy like a Section 8 voucher


  • Your landlord must hire a qualified contractor to complete a lead test
  • Your landlord must get a certificate that the property is lead-safe or lead-free
  • Your landlord must give a copy to you and the Department of Public Health

My landlord will not certify that the property is lead-safe or lead-free.  What can I do?

  • Call the Department of Public Health at 215-685-2788 and report it.
  • Call the Department of Licenses & Inspections at 311 for an inspection.
  • Withhold rent. You may withhold rent until your landlord gives you a lead-safe or lead-free certificate.
    • Send rent withholding letter to landlord. Download sample.
    • Escrow your rent. Open a bank account to deposit your rent or keep the rent in a money order.
  • Contact your representative in City Council or State Government. Find your rep at 1-855-738-3689 or go to guide.seventy.org.
  • Contact the Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN). Call 215-940-3900 or go to 21 South 12th Street, 11th Floor to learn more about your rights and organizing tenants in your building.

I heard there could be lead in the water.  What can I do?

Call the Philadelphia Water Department 215-685-6300 to schedule a free lead test appointment.