What's the deal with lead based paint, and why should anyone be concerned?

Beautiful Murals 04.27.14
Maybe you've seen the warnings on paint sticks, or read an article someplace. "Use caution when sanding or disturbing lead based paint." Is it all a lot of hype? I have to argue as a contractor, that no, it really is not. While many people make a choice to simply ignore lead paint warnings, there could always be consequences to that decision. For instance, a friend did a large DIY reno a few years back, knocking walls down in an older home. As a direct result, his children have elevated blood lead levels.

When exposed to lead dust, children can develop behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity), slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior. Stopping a child's exposure to lead from leaded paint, house dust, or any other source is the best way to prevent the harmful effects of lead. There are risks to adults as well.

Recently, the EPA put in place a rule that states anyone who is performing painting, renovation, or repairs in homes built pre-1978 must be certified to perform such work in a lead safe manner. If you hire anyone to work in your pre-1978 home, consider asking them for credentials to ensure that they will take the safety of you and your family into account. Likewise, anyone performing DIY projects is advised,

  • Becky
    Becky Blair, NE
    Great information Paul. I new about taking precautions when working in pre-1978 homes, but didn't realize there was a new rule about contractors needing to be certified. That's very wise.
  • Town and Country Living
    Good to know. My house is over 100 years old!
  • Jason Allison
    I for one didn't realize people ignored the warnings or took them lightly. We've known the dangers of lead and lead based paint, at least, since 1978. My father suffered from lead poising twice while he was a painter that worked for the state of
  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    Hamtil Construction LLC Saint Louis, MO
    Hi Jason Allison - Great thoughts, and I appreciate your comments. It really is true, though, that even despite warnings and information that is out there, a great majority of
  • Jason Allison
    And forgive me if I came across in a bad way. I understand there are homeowners don't give it much thought, but the fact there are contractors out there who fail to even mention this fact to homeowners is criminal. Those people give honest contractors a
  • Jason Allison
    I would rather pay the extra $ to have lead removed as opposed to having to be treated for lead poising!
  • Em Hooper
    Em Hooper Bakersville, NC
    Jason might want to remember that there are people who don't have tv so can't watch the warnings. And when a person or family member has an issue of major health concern, such as earlier lead poisoning, then one is more likely to be aware of the latest
  • Jenny
    Jenny Fuquay Varina, NC
    What also must be considered, as a craft and home decor/diy blogger, that the chippy look is very big right now in home decor. By bringing lovely chippy things in your home like old shutters, windows or doors, you are potentially exposing your family
  • Jason Allison
    Em, what you don't know is my father got sick long before I was born. One doesn't have to watch tv to know about lead and lead based paints. If a person reads a can of todays paint, say, to read the directions, it is indicated to use caution with removal
  • Debbie L
    Debbie L Sacramento, CA
    Having been a Painting Contractor in California I can tell you that trying to do a business with the lead abatement..well Hope you have an extra $60,000 to just get started. Also for home owners...don't expect you to get a $1800 to $3000 painting bid-
  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    Hamtil Construction LLC Saint Louis, MO
    Thanks all for the comments! Debbie L, lead abatement is a facet of the picture, but despite some similarities, is separate from what RRP is. Abatement is not always required
  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    Hamtil Construction LLC Saint Louis, MO
    Jason Allison - I like your thought. It would really help if paint centers provided more information on lead safety! For the DIY crowd, and for those hiring a contractor alike!
  • Pamela Czaplicki
    Pamela Czaplicki Red House, VA
    my nephew has been treated for lead poisioning... it's no fun!! please be careful!
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