Achieving dust lead clearance standards after lead hazard control projects: an evaluation of the HUD-recommended cleaning procedure and an abbreviated alternative

Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 1999 May;14(5):339-44. doi: 10.1080/104732299302927.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing strongly recommend that after lead hazard control interventions all walls, ceilings, floors, and other horizontal surfaces be cleaned using a three-step process to reduce lead-contaminated dust and debris. The three steps are: an initial vacuuming using a machine equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter (HEPA vacuum), wet wash with a lead cleaner, and a final HEPA vacuum. This study evaluated the effectiveness of two cleaning protocols: (1) the HUD-recommended three-step procedure, and (2) an abbreviated two-step cleaning procedure that omits the final HEPA vacuum. Cleaning procedures were evaluated in 27 dwelling units that had undergone significant lead hazard control interventions likely to produce lead dust. Dust lead samples were collected on floors and in window sills and troughs prior to the lead control hazard intervention, after the wet wash step of the cleaning procedure, and after completion of the second HEPA vacuuming. The results of the study demonstrate that dust lead surface loading on smooth and cleanable surfaces following the three-step and two-step cleaning procedures can achieve 1995 federal guidance dust clearance levels and levels substantially lower. Although the dust lead clearance rates before and after the second HEPA vacuum were the same, the time saved by omitting the second HEPA is small relative to the other elements of the cleaning process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / prevention & control*
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / standards*
  • Facility Regulation and Control / standards*
  • Government Programs / standards*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Hazardous Substances / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lead / analysis*
  • Program Evaluation
  • United States


  • Dust
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Lead