Lead Paint

Lead paint is paint that uses lead in its pigment component. Lead was commonly found in paint before 1978 because it sped drying, increased durability, and was resistant to moisture. In 1978, it was banned in the United States because it was discovered that exposure to lead through ingestion or inhalation is harmful to a person’s health. While dangerous to people of all ages, lead paint is especially dangerous to developing children under age six. Lead paint may cause kidney problems, irritability, loss of muscle coordination, irreversible brain damage, seizures, and death. Blood tests are the best way to diagnose lead poisoning because symptoms may not always be present. Some homeowners choose to cover surfaces coated in lead paint rather than remove it. Homeowners who decide to remove their lead paint should consider hiring an experienced contractor to handle lead paint removal, because certain ways of removal may stir up lead dust. Realtors and landlords are required by law to notify potential inhabitants about lead paint exposure. Homeowners who live in a house built before 1978 should consult with their pediatrician about testing any small children for lead poisoning.