What You Need to Know about Lead Paint

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If you own a home that was built before 1978, when the Federal Government banned lead paint in residential structures, you received a lead disclosure as part of your sales transaction. In other words, there is the potential of lead hazard in your home environment, and it’s a good idea to be informed of the risks related to this common problem.

What Is Lead and Why Was It Ever Added to Paint?

Lead is a heavy metal that was added to paint until 1978 to make paint durable and water resistant. Unfortunately, it’s also toxic and can cause a wide range of symptoms in individuals who are exposed to it. These include developmental delays, learning disabilities, weight loss, headaches, fatigue and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, and the most common source of exposure is consuming chips of deteriorating lead-based paint.

The good news is that lead paint with no cracking or chipping is unlikely to pose health risks to loved ones. However, areas of wear and tear can expose underlying layers of paint that can produce lead dust, particularly on stair railings, window sills, door frames and banisters. This dust can be inhaled and produce symptoms.

What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Lead Exposure from Interior Paint?

As a homeowner, there are strategies to reduce the risk of lead exposure in your home.
These include:

  • Cleaning up paint chips as soon as you spot them
  • Wiping down painted surfaces on a weekly basis
  • Washing children’s hands frequently
  • Preventing children from chewing or picking at painted surfaces

As well, it’s important to keep paint, particularly baseboards and trim-work in sound condition. If your “vintage” home is showing signs of wear and tear, new paint can reduce any potential exposure to lead. While lead paint does pose some risk, there are strategies for ensuring the safety of your home.

Learn more about painting old surfaces from the paint experts at Ellsworth Home Services. Call us today at 480-593-2265.