In 1978, the U.S. banned lead paints in residential use. However, homes built before 1978 are still likely to contain some form of lead-based paint. When the paint peels and cracks, it makes lead paint chips and dust, and children or pets can become poisoned if they chew on surfaces that have been coated with lead-based paint, or even breathe in lead dust.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency lead paint can be found in:
- 24% of homes built between 1960 – 1978
- 69% of homes built between 1940 – 1960
- 87% of homes built before 1940
If the paint is in good condition and has been previously painted over, it shouldn’t pose a problem. However, if it is peeling or has been exposed to scraping or sanding, it can pose significant health risks to people, pets, and young children.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning Include:
- Hearing Problems
- High blood pressure
- Muscle and joint pain
- Loss of memory and concentration
Children, especially those under two years old, are extremely sensitive to lead and may develop more intense health problems such as:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Reduction in IQ levels
- Learning disorders
- Behavioral problems
- Slowed growth
Now what does this mean for you and your family? Here is how to check if your home contains lead within its paint.
Does your home have lead-based paint?
There are at home lead paint inspection kits available, and they can tell you the lead content of every painted structural part of your home. If is not peeling or chipping, there are a few precautions you can take to keep your family safe. Keep floors and woodwork clean, wash children’s hands, toys, and pacifiers. Also prevent children from peeling or playing with the paint. In addition, keep pregnant women away from any lead paint in the home, as birth defects can occur.
Lead Paint Removal
It is best to hire a trained and certified paint professional to take on remodeling and repainting a home. It is important to not be in the vicinity during the renovation, or at least have the professionals seal off the area under construction from the rest of the home and disconnect any HVAC ductwork to prevent the spread of dust throughout the home.
If you are concerned about potential lead paint within your home, contact The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The department enforces lead-paint regulations, provides public outreach and technical assistance, and conducts studies to help prevent children and their families from lead hazards within the home. They also support both state and local governments to develop cost-effective ways to reduce lead-based paint hazards.
Don’t take any chances with you or your family’s health when it comes to possible lead paint exposure. Let MC Painting plan your paint job and ensure that your home is safe. Contact us today to request a painting quote!