If you live in an older home that was painted with lead-based paint, don't reach for the vacuum when paint begins to chip and peel off. While it may seem like a logical idea to use a vacuum since you're not touching the lead-based paint chips, contamination can occur when you open the vacuum to empty the canister. Powerful vacuums can turn lead chips into dust, and when the canister is open, those dust particles can contaminate the air in your home. Instead, clean up the chips using a dustpan and broom. After touching lead-based paint chips, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid contamination.