What Is Lead Based Paint?
Lead is a naturally occurring element (heavy metal – think high school science class) found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. Lead was added to paint to accelerate drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion.
Why Test For Lead Based Paint?
Homes and buildings built before 1978 have a good chance of having lead-based paint in them. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead paint is still present in millions of homes and buildings however, often times it is under (many) layers of newer paint that does not contain lead.
Should You Be Concerned If You Have Lead Based Paint?
While lead has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing health risks and even death. Lead based paint in good condition typically is not harmful to you, however, if your home was built before 1978 you should regularly check for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint.
Safety Precautions When Dealing With Lead Based Paint
If there are areas of concern you should address them without excessive sanding. If you must sand, sand the minimum area needed by wetting the area first with water to reduce dust debris and clean up thoroughly with a safe cleaner. You should also always wear a respirator that is approved for lead based paint.
This instructional video teaches how to preform a lead paint test on painted wood and metal with swabs by 3M that provide instant results. If you are renovating, repairing or painting a home or building built before 1978 you should take precautionary measures and take this quick and easy testto see if the paint has a lead base. If the paint tests positive for lead, be sure to follow the safety measures described in this video.