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

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, but not required to, test for the presence of lead and take appropriate precautions for safety.
For more of this article: http://on.fb.me/X66qiK
EPA "Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home" pamphlet : http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadpdfe.pdf

Got a question about this project?

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 unless mandated or chosen. For example, HUD renovations might require that

  • 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! As someone who follows the EPA RRP rule, I desire that more homeowners

  • 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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