Lead-based Paint Safety

Keeping Students Safe

In New York City public schools, we go above and beyond to keep kids safe. To protect children under six years of age from exposure to lead, the Division of School Facilities regularly inspects buildings for peeling paint. That’s because peeling lead-based paint can present a risk of lead exposure, especially for children under age six.

Read the Press Release from September 3, 2019 about the completion of classroom remediation.

How We Report and Fix Peeling Paint in Schools

Our Custodian Engineers conduct routine visual inspections for all classrooms serving children under six including LYFE Centers, 3-K, Pre-k, Kindergarten and First Grade. When we see peeling paint, we work to quickly fix it.

Three times a year, Custodian Engineers formally record their findings on the Paint Film Condition Visual Inspection Form, and these results are now available online. These reports will occur prior to the first day of school, at the start of the December winter recess and at the conclusion of the school year.

Standard Response Protocol

Our standard response protocol keeps kids safe, and applies to all classrooms serving students under six in buildings built before 1985. Although lead-based paint was banned in New York City in 1960, we take additional precautions and include in our monitoring any building built 25 years after that ban.

If your child is under the age of six and their school was built before 1985:

  • Custodian Engineers routinely visually inspect classrooms, and if there is any peeling paint, it is immediately addressed
  • If there is peeling paint, an independent contractor tests whether the paint is lead-based paint, and, if it is, a safety plan is developed.
  • If the paint is lead-based paint or is paint of an unknown origin, the peeling paint is sealed with a certified primer and painted over. This is called remediation. Students are relocated in the interim.
  • Once the lead-based paint has been remediated, an independent certified inspector technician takes dust wipes that are tested to make sure the room is safe for children to reenter.
  • Custodian Engineers continue to visually inspect classrooms regularly.
  • The DOE is enhancing inspection protocols, and this year independent contractors will inspect, test, and remediate cafeterias and libraries serving 3-K, Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st grade students. This work will be completed by the start of the 2020-21 school year, and is in addition to the abatement work the School Construction Authority completes in spaces that undergo a capital project.

Report an Issue

If you notice peeling paint in one of our school buildings, we would like to hear from you. Please fill out the Paint Reporting survey below and we will investigate. We’ll need the building code, classroom number and floor. Get your building code by clicking the borough your school is in and typing in the address or school name to find the code.

Once you have the building code, fill out the Paint Reporting survey.

Lead-based Paint Testing Results

View the results of the inspections from June 2019 for all classrooms serving students under six in applicable buildings. These tests were completed in accordance with our protocols detailed above.

The spreadsheet identifies all classrooms, whether there was observation of peeling paint, and if there was, standard response protocol was followed. Please note that in the spreadsheet LPB means “lead-based paint.” Stabilization is part of the standard response protocol.

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You can also download the Lead Based Paint Inspections Results as an Excel file.

Find Out More

To secure free blood lead testing, or to find a doctor, call 311.

Letters for Families

Providing families with detailed and easily accessible information is key to our partnership with you. Below is a copy of the letter we sent to families describing our approach to lead-based paint inspection and repair, and the September letter about the summer city-wide testing and remediation, and frequently asked questions.

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