Lead-Based Paint

What You Need to Know

Protecting Your Children from Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint, commonly used in homes before 1978, poses significant health risks, especially to children. Understanding these risks and taking appropriate precautions can help ensure your home is safe and your children are protected.

What is Lead-Based Paint?

Lead-based paint contains high levels of lead, a toxic metal that can cause a range of health problems. It was widely used in residential buildings for its durability and ability to enhance paint performance. However, it was banned for residential use in 1978 due to the severe health risks it posed.

Why is Lead Dangerous for Children?

Children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure for several reasons:

  • Developing Bodies: Children’s bodies absorb lead more easily than adults. Their developing brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
  • Hand-to-Mouth Behavior: Young children often put their hands and objects in their mouths, increasing the likelihood of ingesting lead dust or chips from deteriorating lead-based paint.
  • Higher Risk of Exposure: Lead dust can settle on toys, furniture, and floors where children play, leading to a higher risk of ingestion or inhalation.

Health Effects of Lead Exposure in Children

Lead exposure can have serious, long-lasting effects on children’s health, including:

  • Cognitive Impairments: Lower IQ, attention deficits, and learning difficulties.
  • Behavioral Problems: Increased likelihood of behavioral issues, such as hyperactivity and irritability.
  • Physical Health Issues: Delayed growth, hearing problems, and anemia.

Identifying Lead-Based Paint in Your Home

If your home was built before 1978, there’s a good chance it contains lead-based paint. Here are some steps to determine if your home is at risk:

  • Professional Inspection: A certified lead inspector or risk assessor can conduct a thorough examination of your home.
  • Home Test Kits: Lead test kits are available for purchase, allowing you to test painted surfaces yourself. However, professional testing is recommended for accurate results.

Reducing Lead Exposure

If lead-based paint is found in your home, consider the following measures to minimize exposure:

  • Maintain Paint Condition: Regularly inspect and maintain painted surfaces to prevent deterioration. Keep painted areas clean and in good repair.
  • Safe Renovations: If you plan to renovate, hire certified professionals who follow lead-safe work practices to prevent lead dust contamination.
  • Cleaning Practices: Wet-mop floors and wet-wipe surfaces regularly to reduce lead dust. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter for more effective dust removal.
  • Hygiene: Encourage frequent handwashing, especially before meals and after playing outside.


While the presence of lead-based paint in older homes can be concerning, taking proactive steps to identify and mitigate the risks can help protect your children’s health. By staying informed and vigilant, you can create a safer environment for your family.

For more information on lead-based paint and home safety, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help ensure your home is a safe and healthy place for your loved ones.

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