Featured News 2013 Lead Paint in Your Home: What you can do About this Issue

Lead Paint in Your Home: What you can do About this Issue

Lead paint is very dangerous and can trigger a host of problems for children and adults who are exposed to it. Prior to 1978, many households were painted with lead paint because they health risks were not yet discovered. Now, it is illegal to use these paints in a home, but if you live in a structure that was built before 1978 you may be at risk. It is very important that you determine whether or not you and your family members have been exposed to lead in your house and to what extent the exposure is potentially damaging. Most of the time, the lead exposure comes from paint or gasoline.

There can also be lead in old water pipes. Oftentimes the lead particles can be found in dust and drinking water as well as food, paint, and soil outside. If the lead paint is in good condition it typically won’t be an immediate threat to your health. The greatest problem with lead paint is when it starts to disintegrate over time and it becomes a dusty or chips off of the walls and onto the floor. Particles of the lead paint can then become easy to breathe in or can become ingested if they are floating around and land on food. This can then cause the particles to get absorbed into the bloodstream, which is when they will start doing significant damage.

Children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure because they are at a greater risk to ingest the paint dust. This is because babies are often crawling on the floor or will lick their hands after touching the ground. There are also times that the children will place dusty objects in their mouth which may have the lead paint on them. Children also enjoy playing outside and may be marching around in soil that has been permeated with lead. If a child falls victim to lead exposure, the Centers Disease and Control Prevention says that it can lead to behavioral problems and chronic illness. Children can have difficulty sleeping, suffer severe headaches, obtain stomach aches, or become excessively cranky or tired as a result of ingesting the lead. This is considered lead poisoning and any child that is suffering from the illness should be taken to the doctor immediately. Statistics show that about 310,000 children in the United States have an unsafe level of lead in their blood.

While the health problems listed above can be irritating and discomforting, there are also health-threatening illnesses that can occur. In extreme cases, children may suffer mental or physical development issues as a result of the lead poisoning. This can mean brain damage or neurological impairment. There are also times that pregnant women who experience lead poisoning can have a miscarriage as a result or have a stillborn baby. In other cases, the baby has mental impairments as a result of the mother’s lead poisoning. Both children and adults can suffer from hypertension, irritability, muscle and joint impairment and extreme pain as a result of the lead poisoning.

If you are renting or buying a home, the federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires almost all sellers and landlords of houses that were built before 1978 to disclose any lead paint hazards to residents and to provide any available reports to buyers or renters. The buyers and renters then have ten days to get testing done at their own expense based on the information that they received. The landlord is also required to give new occupants of a home with lead paint a pamphlet which instructs families on how to protect themselves from the dangers of lead paint exposure.

If you want to test your home for consumer lead paint, then you can purchase a do-it-yourself kit from a home improvement store or a paint store for more information. The kit will help you to determine how much lead is in your home and how high the levels are. Some advanced kits will even tell you whether or not the levels of lead can cause a significant danger to your loved ones. The kits are not always extremely accurate, so if you are conducting a first-time check on your home it is best to hire a professional. If you or your child suffers from lead poisoning and you have the evidence to prove that your home is filled with the dangerous lead then you can contact a real estate attorney and you may be able to sue a landlord who concealed this information. It is against the law to keep home owners in the dark about lead-based paint in a home, so you need to contact an attorney to get assistance.

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