Lead Paint Safety
Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating six square feet or more of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978.
Also, beginning April 2010, federal law will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools, built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Therefore, beginning in April 2010, ask to see your contractor's certification.
This information is for you if you:
Reside in a home built before 1978,
Own or operate a child care facility, including preschools and kindergarten classrooms, built before 1978, or
Have a child under six who attends a child care facility built before 1978.
Lead can affect children's brains and developing nervous systems, causing:
Reduced IQ and learning disabilities.
Lead is also harfmul to adults. In adults, low levels of lead can pose many dangers, including:
High blood pressure and hypertension.
Pregnant women exposed to lead can transfer lead to their fetus.
Lead gets into the body when it is swallowed or inhaled.
People, especially children, can swallor lead dust as they eat, play, and do other normal hand-to-mouth activities.
People may also breathe in lead dust or fumes if they disturb lead-based paint. People who sand, scrape, burn, brush or blast or otherwise disturb lead-based paint risk unsafe exposure to lead.
Home Renovation creates dust.
Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
Older homes, child care facilities, and schools are more likely to contain lead-based paint. You may decide to assume your home, child care facility, or school contains lead, especially in older homes and buildings. You or your contractor may also test for lead using a lead test kit, which must be EPA-approved and are available at hardware stores.
For more information about the health effects of exposure to lead, visit the EPA lead website at http://www2.epa.gov/lead or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).