Lead paint is a type of paint that contains lead, a heavy metal that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. It is found in many homes that were built before 1940’s until 1978. Since 1978, it has been banned in the U.S. because of the health risks. How to identify lead paint? The home was built before 1978 and the paint may need to be tested to determine if it is lead paint.
What is Lead Paint?
For many years, lead was added to paint to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. It was commonly used in homes, on children’s toys, and on furniture.
What Are the Health Risks of Lead Paint?
The health risks associated with lead paint are particularly severe for children. Even low levels of lead in blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. In rare cases, ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma and even death.
How to Identify Lead Paint?
Identifying lead paint isn’t always straightforward because it can often look the same as non-lead paint. The fact is, any home built before 1978 could potentially have layers of lead paint beneath newer coats of paint.
How to Test for Lead Paint?
There are two main methods to test for the presence of lead-based paint: you can get a do-it-yourself test kit from a home improvement store, or hire a certified inspector to conduct a more comprehensive assessment.
Do Home Inspectors Check for Lead Paint?
What If My Home Has Lead Paint?
If your home has lead paint, it’s crucial to handle it properly. Lead paint that’s in good condition and that’s not on a surface that a child might chew or that gets a lot of wear and tear (like a window sill) may not be a problem. But, lead paint that is peeling or on a high-contact area should be addressed.
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development.
Signs of Lead Poisoning in Kids
Signs of lead poisoning include developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, hearing loss.
It is important to be careful, especially if you are renovating, repairing, or painting a home to not disturb lead-paint. Check out the video below for some great tips!
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know how to identify lead paint, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is Chinese drywall. This is seen in a lot of homes in the south and in Florida and affects the air supply. It can cause sore throat, sinus irritation and more.
Another is paint. You want to make sure that when painting the inside or outside of the house that you use paint made for the environment. In other words, use exterior paint only on the outside of the home and not on the inside. This is because of the fumes and high levels of VOC’s.
Lastly, while we are talking about safety, we also want to think about flickering lights. Lights might flicker due to a loose bulb, type of bulb, dimmer switch not working, or a loose plug.
When Do I Call for a Professional?
If you find peeling lead paint, then it’s time to call a professional. Also, if you plan to renovate or remodel areas that contain lead paint, do not try to remove it yourself. You want to make sure not to disturb the paint so reaching out to a professional is best.
While the dangers of lead paint are well documented, with knowledge and proactive behavior, you can keep your family safe. If you suspect lead is present in your home, take steps to have it tested and properly managed by professionals.