Lead Based Paint
Does my house have lead based paint? Does my house require lead paint removal?
One is to use an EPA recognized test kit. This is done by certified renovators. The second way is to use x-ray fluorescent instruments. This is done by certified lead based paint inspectors or risk assessors. The third way is to do a paint chip sampling and laboratory testing. Again, this is done by certain lead based paint inspectors or risk assessors.
The EPA recognized test kits will produce a pink to red color when lead is present. If there is no color change on the painting film tested, lead based paint is not present and lead safe work practices are not required on the surface.
Lead testing must be performed prior to any painting or renovation work. All testing is to be performed by the appropriate qualified professionals.
25% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have lead present. 66% of homes built between 1940 and 1959 have lead present. 86% of homes built before 1940 have lead present.
The EPA’s RRP rule assumes that any house built before 1978 contains lead based paint. Homes built before 1960 are more likely than homes built after 1960 to contain lead based paint.
The federal standards define lead based paint as any paint or coating that contains lead equal to 1.0mg/cm² or more than .5% by weight.
Lead based paint was introduced to the paint industry to enable added color and durability. Lead based paint was banned in 1978.
The reason for concern is the health risks of lead. It is very hazardous to children and damages the brain and central nervous system and can cause decreased intelligence, behavioral problems, and hyperactivity. Damage can be irreversible. It is also hazardous to pregnant women, workers and other adults. Lead produces high blood pressure and physical fatigue. Lead exposure causes permanent damage.
The dust and debris is a problem. Renovation activities that disturb lead based paint create dust and debris. Lead contaminated dust is poisonous. Children and adults can swallow or breathe this dust.