Lead-Based Paint Testing

testing for lead-based paintIf your home was built before 1978, chances are it may contain lead paint, which can pose a problem if you’re planning to renovate, repair or repaint.

What Is Lead-Based Paint?

Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal that used to be mixed into paints and materials like gasoline, batteries, ceramics and others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed lead-based paint a public health hazard in 1978 and banned its use, as well as enacted strict regulations for abatement.

Hazards of Lead-Based Paint

Deteriorating lead-based paint can be released into the air through dust and into the soil through flaking, where it breaks down and sticks to soil particles. Lead particles can travel long distances and can even make their way into water sources.

Easily absorbed by the body, lead can have dangerous effects on all major organs and bodily systems. Lead poisoning causes a variety of symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, nausea, fatigue and irritability, but can also harm children without any tell-tale signs. Those most at risk for the harmful effects of lead poisoning are children under the age of six who are in their developmental stages and pregnant women.

Lead-Based Paint Detection

Prevention is the best remedy when it comes to lead poisoning, and though the EPA strongly suggests that certified professionals perform inspections, there are many at-home, lead-based paint testing kits available.

Lead-based paint is most commonly found on the exterior walls, but can also be found in the household. To test for lead paint, gently scrape away layers of paint on each area of your house you plan on remodeling or repainting. Read the directions on the DIY lead-based paint testing kit, as each differs, but most show results with a change of color.

Steps to Take After a Positive Reading

If the results come back positive during your lead-based paint testing, there are a few immediate steps you can take:

  • Clean up any paint chips you can find
  • Frequently wash children’s hands and toys to reduce exposure
  • Dust and mop frequently

Inspection & Prevention

False negatives and questionable accuracy in at-home, lead-based paint testing kits can occur, so it may be best to have a full inspection done by a professional.

Homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals choose to “Inspect-It 1st” because of our ability to perform a wide range of inspection services tailored to the market’s needs, you have the convenience of making one call instead of scheduling multiple inspectors. If you suspect that your house may contain lead-based paint or want to ensure your home is lead paint free, contact Inspect-It 1st today!

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