Precausions for removing lead paint?

I am contemplating some renovations in my mid-60's house. Some of these renovations may involve removing or sanding the walls. What reasonable precausions againt lead paint are considered necessary for sanding or removing gypsum board in my home? Is lead paint a certainty on walls merely based on the age of the house?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It probably does have lead paint based on the age. It's never a certainty, but it's very likely and you should probably proceed with the assumption that it does contain lead. Here's some good info:
http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/rrpamph.pdf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

1) Assume it does have lead paint until you test it. Test kits are available at hardware & paint stores.
2) The web site louie provided will probably tell you about precautions. If you need to remove major pieces of wall, you're probably best off hiring a professional. If you hire someone, interview them carefully and be sure they have a clear plan for how they will vacuum up the dust that's created. If they just say "shop vac", and they can't elaborate on whether they have special filters for dealing with dangerous dust, call someone else.
3) If the main reason you think you'll be removing walls is to get rid of the lead, STOP. You'll create more problems that way. Create the minimum amount of disturbance as you do minor things (light fixtures, electrical outlets), and then just seal in the old paint with modern paint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mid sixties was little lead paint being used. Very good odds it is just plain old latex, especially on the walls. Lead was more often used on wood trim and even there, it was being phased out earlier than that.
The biggest problem with lead is ingestion, kids chewing on window sills and such. Removing anything on a wall would be a potential problem if it did exist if you kicked up dust. Even if there is no lead you want to wear a good dust mask.
Many hardware stores have lead test kits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Heck I gutted a 100 year old house full of lead paint after a fire!
If you have children STOP! Hire pro help, for childern lead can cause SERIOUS TROUBLES!
If your a typical resonably health adult, go to it.
lead exposure is made worse by time. so do it fast, clean up well and wear at least a dust mask. wash and clean up well, try to not make excess dust. dONT drag job out for months and ideally your not living in the construction area.
1960s paint likely had lead, its just another risk of doing a job like tripping on a wire.
human bodies excrete lead continiously, whats bad is absorbing more than your body can get rid of
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If I were sanding interior walls, I'd probably be as concerned about asbestos as lead. Joint compound of that era contained asbestos. If you're just drywall (and you don't have kids), I'd probably just wear a mask, keep it damp with a spray bottle of water, and do it. My home built in '61 had lead in the exterior window sashes, but none inside anywhere.
Instead of heavy sanding you might try a skim coat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.