What you need to know about lead paint and safety

US Environmental Protection Agency

What you need to know about lead paint and safety

We’ve written about lead paint before, but it’s such an important subject, one with health ramifications, that we like to touch upon it regularly. You should never try to remove lead paint yourself, especially if it’s compromised in any way and flaking. Removal of lead paint should be left for professionals certified in lead paint removal according to E.P.A. protocol.
Do you have lead paint?
Most structures, including residences, built before 1978 might contain lead-based paint. If it’s intact, it might not pose any danger. But if there are any paint flakes, chips, or dust – of any amount – it could pose a severe health hazard. You can read more about lead paint on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (E.P.A.) website.
Where to Find Lead Paint:
Although lead paint was banned in 1978 by the U.S. government, the older the building, the more likely it is to have lead paint. It can be found on any painted interior and exterior surfaces, such as walls and window frames/sills, and even in the soil around a house.
Lead Paint Abatement:
A lead-safe certified firm, approved by E.P.A. or an E.P.A.-authorized state program, should perform any abatement. They should follow E.P.A. rules for any lead paint removal, including proper disposal of all waste materials. The dust generated by lead paint can be as dangerous as the paint itself.
Here are some tips from the E.P.A.: 
      • Don’t try to remove lead-based paint yourself.
      • Always keep painted surfaces that might contain lead in good condition to minimize deterioration.
      • Get your home checked for lead hazards. The E.P.A. site has a list of inspectors.
      • If you rent in a building older than 1978, speak with your landlord about properly addressing any peeling or chipping paint.
      • When renovating, repairing, or painting, hire only E.P.A.- or state-approved, Lead-Safe certified renovation firms. (We are certified for lead paint abatement.)
      • Before buying, renting, or renovating a home older than 1978, have it inspected for lead paint.
      • If you live in a home with lead paint, consider testing your children for lead. Your pediatrician can do a simple blood test.
      • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
      • Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
      • Remove shoes or wipe soil off shoes before entering your house.
Home Works Painting is a lead-safe certified firm in Northern Virginia. We are trained in lead paint abatement and are happy to provide you with a free cost estimate. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.
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