What You Should Know About
Lead Paint And Lead Paint Testing
Lead-based paints were used in many homes prior to 1978, which was when the federal government banned lead-based paints. These paints contain lead; a very malleable and durable material. Most documented cases of lead poisoning can be traced to lead contamination resulting from the degradation of such paints. Lead-based paints that are in good condition pose little risk but those that begin to peel, chip, chalk, or crack do pose a health risk.
LEAD PAINT HAZARDS
- Lead from paint chips (invisible) and lead dust (visible) can be serious hazards.
- Peeling, chipping, chalking and cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
- Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that
get a lot of wear-and-tear. These areas include:
– windows and window sills
– doors and door frames
– stairs, railings and banisters
– porches and fences.
- Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry-scraped, dry-sanded or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it.
- Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes.
- In plumbing and tap water; some older houses still have lead plumbing. Even in houses that have copper pipes, lead solders were often used to bond these pipes together.
Checking Your Family And Home For Lead
Have your children and home tested for lead paint if you think your home has high levels of lead.
Just knowing that a home has lead-based paint may not tell you if there is a hazard.
To reduce your child’s exposure to lead, get your child checked, have your home tested
(especially if your home has paint in poor condition and has built before 1978), and fix any hazards you may have.
YOU CAN GET YOUR HOME CHECKED IN ONE OF TWO WAYS (OR BOTH):
- A lead-based inspection tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home. It won’t tell you whether the paint is a hazard or how you should deal with it.
- A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure, such as peeling paint and lead dust. It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.
- Have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure that the work is done safely, reliably and effectively. Be sure to ask your GreenWorks Inspector about lead paint during your next inspection. Trained professionals use a range of methods when checking your home, including: (1) a visual inspection of paint condition and location; (2) a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine; (3) Surface Dust Tests *Additional fees included with this option
Planning To Buy Or Rent A Home Built
Many Houses and apartments build before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. Federal law requires that buyers receive certain information before renting or buying pre-1978 housing.
Paint Disclosure Program
- LANDLORDS have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint.
- SELLERS have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts should include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.
If not conducted properly, certain types of renovations can release lead from paint and dust into the air.
- RENOVATORS have to give you a pamphlet titled “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” before starting work.
- Take precautions before your contractor begins remodeling or renovations that disturb painted surfaces (such as scraping off paint or tearing out walls).
- Have the area tested for lead-based paint
- Do not use a belt-sander, propane torch, heat gun, dry scraper or dry sandpaper to remove lead-based paint. These actions create large amounts of lead dust and fumes.
- Lead dust can remain in your home long after the work is done.
- Temporarily, move your family (especially children and pregnant women) out of the apartment or house until the work is done and the area is properly cleaned. If you can’t move your family, completely seal off the work area.
- If you have already completed renovations or remodeling that could have released lead-based paint or dust, get your young children tested and follow the steps outlined to protect your family.
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