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Guest Blogger: Determining if your Home Has Lead-Based Paint

 Guest Blogger 1K+, Entry #2572, June 27, 2013

In 1978, the federal government passed legislation which formally banned consumer uses of lead-based paint. While the law was passed 35 years ago, lead-based paint still remains an issue, particularly in homes built prior to the 1970s. Living in a home with lead-based paint can put you and your family at risk for lead poisoning.

historic home interiors paint

Ensure the paint in your older home isn’t lead-based

 Image via: F Slide

In order to keep your family safe from lead, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Keep your paint in good condition.

If lead is present in your walls, it’s likely that old lead-based paint has been covered up over the years by fresh coats of latex or oil-based paints. If the current paint job in your home is in good shape, you should be okay. However, any cracking, peeling, or chipping paint may begin to release lead paint, which requires immediate attention.

Watch for warning signs in your children.

According to the EPA’s Lead Facts, children six years of age and younger are most susceptible to the harmful effects of lead. Even low levels of lead in the blood can cause symptoms such as anemia, slowed growth, and permanent brain damage, which can lead to hearing loss, behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and in very serious cases, seizures, coma or death.

historic home interiors red paint

Ensure you know if your home has lead based paint products

Image via: Design – Deli

Consider the long-term effects.

Over time, lead can accumulate in your body, leading to decreased kidney function, increased blood pressure, and reproductive problems for both men and women. Pregnant women are especially at risk, as lead can be transmitted through the bloodstream and into the placenta to be ingested by the fetus, resulting in birth defects or miscarriage.

Hire a lead-safe certified contractor.

Though many contractors may claim to know how to properly handle lead-based paint removal, you can’t be certain unless they are lead-safe certified by the EPA. Any type of disturbance or destruction of surfaces containing lead could release dust that can be harmful to your family, so all projects must be properly handled from start to finish.

Lead is a toxic substance, and the handling of its removal is not something that should be left to chance. If you know that your home contains lead, or if you think that there’s a possibility, contact a lead-safe certified contractor like Dennis Painters to resolve the issue. If you aren’t sure if your home contains lead contamination, remember, better safe than sorry.

For more home safety tips on Stagetecture, click here.

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Stagetecture combines my passions - architecture, home staging, organization, food recipes, decor, and everything home! Poke around, stay awhile, there's something here for you!

-Ronique Gibson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

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