Up to 1977, lead was added to paints of all kinds and used in homes, apartments and commercial buildings without a single concern. When it was discovered that severe health and neurological problems were directly related to lead-exposure, all that changed. In 1978, lead paint was banned but that didn’t change the fact that many families were still living in homes with a toxic, unwanted guest that was embedded in paint and plumbing pipes and perhaps even the soil surrounding families’ homes.
Any families living in a pre-1978 residence should have their home inspected for any presence of lead. If lead is determined, family members should be blood tested to evaluate what levels of lead have been possibly ingested.
The Center for Disease Control states that upwards of 310,000 children have unsafe levels of lead in their bodies, due to exposure to lead paint. Problems such as poor appetite, difficulty sleeping, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and even death, plus other side-effects, can be traced to lead paint and piping in older homes. Pregnant women and unborn children, also, are at high-risk.
The Department Of Housing Can Help:
The U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development is an excellent source for assistance with lead concerns. HUD has an extension called ‘Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control’ which can provide thorough information relating to testing of lead, its dangers and how to deal with it.
Renting and Buying A Home:
Anyone who wishes to rent or sell a home that was constructed before 1978 must abide by the federal ‘Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act’ and disclose any known lead hazards to buyers or renters who, in turn, have ten days to initiate lead testing, performed at their expense. Additionally, landlords or sellers must offer the buyer or renter a pamphlet entitled, ‘Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home’.
Repairing or Remodeling Your Home:
If your home falls in the ‘Pre-1978’ category and you hire someone to renovate your home, they must be lead-safe certified which means that aside from special training, these contractors must wear special equipment while working on your residence. Contractors listed here are among those who must be endorsed in dealing with lead hazards:
3: heating and air conditioning specialists
4: window installers
You, as a homeowner, do not need to be lead-certified prior to making any renovations on your residence; but as a landlord, you are required to hire a lead-certified contractor to do any work on your rental properties.
The EPA recommends that pre-1978 homes be inspected for lead; but the good news is that lead-based paint in these somewhat older homes are safe as long as the paint is in good shape and is not chipping. Additionally there are endless resources, such as Dun Hill Homes, available to consumers to help make renting or buying as safe as possible.
About the Author
Karen devotes a significant portion of her retirement to her writing in Nebraska. Visit dunhillhomes.com to learn more about Texas real estate.