Around The House
House Index | Home Maintenance & Repair | Water System | Doors & Windows | Water Softeners | Indoor Air Quality
Lead Paint Info | Home Remodeling Tips

Lead Paint Info
Effects of lead in children Protect your family
Effects of lead in adults Before you renovate
U.S. Law concerning lead paint
National Lead Information Clearinghouse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 11, or 9.1% of children in America have high levels of lead in their blood. Lead does not naturally break down and remains in the body. It can be found in the dust, paint, and soil inside and around your home, in your food, and in your drinking water -- you probably don't know it because you cannot see, taste, nor smell the lead.

Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and babies before they are born. Adults and healthy children are at less risk but can still have high levels of lead. Because lead is not eliminated naturally, it builds up in the body in fatty tissues and in the blood.

Effects of Lead in Children include . . .
  • Hearing problems
  • Behavior and learning problems
  • Slowed Growth
  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Headaches
  • Excessive allergy sensitivity

  • Many children with symptoms of:

    • ADDS (Attention Deficit Disorder Syndrome)
    • Dyslexia
    • Hyperactivity
    • Mental Retardation
    • multiple allergy reactions
    • speech and hearing difficulties
    • other psychological disorders

    Are actually suffering from lead poisoning.

    After chealation therapy (pronounced "key-lay-shun") many have returned to normal or symptoms were greatly reduced. Chealation therapy was first used to eliminate lead from workers in lead mines, and is used today to eliminate many types of heavy metals from the body.

    Effects of Lead in Adults include . . .
  • Difficulties during pregnancy
  • Reproductive problems in men and women
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Nerve disorders
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headaches
  • EXCESSIVE allergy sensitivity

  • In extreme cases, lead poisoning has caused severe illness, leading to temporary blindness, paralysis, coma, and death.

    To protect your family, you should have your home tested for lead, reduce lead hazards in your home, and eat a healthy diet that is low in fat.

    You, and your children over age one, should be tested for blood-lead levels. Low levels of 10 to 14 micrograms per deciliter of blood can cause problems, especially for children; levels over 15 mg/dl can be serious.

    Homes built before 1978 may have lead-based paint. Homes built before 1960 probably have lead-based paint. Before 1960, lead-based paint had a much higher concentration of lead. Lead from paint, paint-chips, and dust from the paint can cause serious health problems if not taken care of properly.


    U.S. Laws concerning lead paint

    In 1996, the USA Federal Government passed laws that make it mandatory that individuals receive specific information about lead before they buy, rent, or renovate housing built before 1978.

    Sellers and Landlords . . . must disclose known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and provide available reports to buyers or renters must give buyers and renters the pamphlet developed by the EPA, HUD, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home .

    Renovators. . . must give the pamphlet developed by the EPA, HUD, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home before starting work.

    Home Buyers . . . get a 10-day period to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense.

    Sellers or landlords are not required to test for, or remove, lead-based paint. This law will not invalidate any sales or leasing contract.

    Efficiencies, lofts, dormitories, and units without bedrooms are not covered. Leases for under 100 days, like vacation homes or short-term rentals, are not covered. Housing for the elderly or handicapped are not covered unless children will live with them.

    This new law will affect about 9 million renters and 3 million home buyers in the USA each year. The estimated cost of this law is about $6 per transaction.

    For More Information About These Requirements, contact the National Lead Information Clearinghouse:

    Phone: 1-800-LEAD-FYI
    Web site:


    Before You Repair or Renovate

    Any house or apartment built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Most homes built before 1960 contain lead-based paint. Lead based paint produced before 1960 contains higher concentrations of lead than paint manufactured in later years.

    Lead-based paint can be on walls, ceilings, woodwork, windows, and sometimes on floors. When lead-based paint on these surfaces is broken, sanded, or scraped, it breaks into tiny, sometimes invisible, pieces that your child may swallow or inhale. Even small repair and renovation jobs, including repainting projects, can create enough lead dust and chips to harm your child.

    BEFORE you disturb a surface with old paint on it, you should, if possible call your local health department and ask if they can test your home for lead-based paint. If the health department cannot test, ask them who can If lead-based paint is found in your home, have the repair or renovation done by a worker who has been trained to protect your family and home from exposure to lead dust and chips.


    If You Find or Suspect that Lead-based Paint is Present

    You should AVOID the following activities, which can produce paint dust and chips, in areas of your home where you know or suspect there is lead-based paint:

    scraping, sanding, or using a heat gun on painted surfaces before repainting making holes in walls to get at pipes or install electrical outlets tearing out walls, repeatedly bumping furniture or other objects into painted walls unnecessarily opening and closing windows with painted frames and sills.

    If you MUST do repairs or renovations yourself in areas where you know or suspect lead-based paint is present, you SHOULD:

    • Move children and pregnant women to another apartment or house until work is completed and the area is properly cleaned.

    • Cover exposed areas. If the area is small, such as an electrical outlet, keep that area covered until repair and cleanup are completed. If the area being worked on is large, such as a wall being torn down, use plastic coverings to seal off entrances to ducts and to protect furniture, carpets, rugs, and floors from paint dust and chips.

    • Dispose of the plastic carefully. To keep dust down, wet painted surfaces before you work on them.

    • Clean up thoroughly. Always clean up dust and chips with WET mops or rags soaked in a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) or phosphate-containing powdered dishwasher detergent and warm water. (Powdered dishwasher detergents are recommended because most have high phosphate contents. Most multi-purpose household detergents are not effective in cleaning up lead dust.)

      To avoid skin irritation when cleaning up with TSP or high-phosphate dishwasher detergent, wear protective gloves [most contain lye, a caustic, which can burn your skin] Use two buckets -- one for wash water and one for rinse water. Always wring dirty water into the wash water bucket.

    • To prevent contamination of cleaned surfaces, wash mops and rags thoroughly after each use. If this is not possible, or if you have already used the mops and rags several times, place them in plastic bags and dispose of them carefully Avoid sweeping or vacuuming the work area. Sweeping spreads the lead dust around. Vacuuming also spreads dust around, since tiny lead particles can pass through and out of ordinary vacuum cleaners


    If Repairs or Renovations Have Already Occurred

    If repairs or renovations of areas you know or suspect contain lead-based paint have already occurred or are occurring in or around your home, you should do the following:

    • Keep children away from paint dust and chips Clean up all dust and chips with wet mops and rags, as described above. Pay special attention to window sills and window wells (where the bottom of the sash rests when the window is closed)

    • Close your windows if work is going on outside your home that may be scattering lead dust -- for example, a neighbor scraping exterior paint. Using wet mops and rags, clean up any dust that has gotten into your home.

    • Have your children under six years of age tested for lead. To arrange for testing, call your doctor or local health department

      This information is reprinted from information provided by the National Lead Information Center, dated October, 1992. For more information, call them toll-free at 1-800-LEAD-FYI

    Back to Home Around The House Worth The Bucks Over The Fence Anykey Parenting Guild Chat Kids F.U.N. Place F.U.N. & Games
    Copyright © 1998-99 The F.U.N. Place. All rights reserved
    F.U.N. Family