Contractors: Become a Lead-Safe Certified. Take InterNACHI's Lead-Safe
Certified RRP course. www.nachi.org/lead-safety-rrp-course
- 6 hours are ONLINE (learn at your own pace without losing work).
- 2 hours in CLASS (quick and easy).
Inspectors: Take our Renovation Inspection Course designed for inspectors.
Why Do You Need to Be Concerned About Lead?
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from industrial sources and leaded aviation gasoline, and lead can enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and under are most at risk.
Most Common Sources of Lead Poisoning:
Health Effects of Lead
Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the United States.
People can get lead in their body if they:
Facts about Lead
If you think your home might have lead hazards, read on to learn about lead and some simple steps to protect your family.
In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint.
Paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Some states stopped its use even earlier. Lead can be found:
In soil around a home. Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint, or other sources such as past use of leaded gas in cars, and children playing in yards can ingest or inhale lead dust.
Household dust. Dust can pick up lead from deteriorating lead-based paint or from soil tracked into a home.
Drinking water. Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. Call your local health department or water supplier to find out about testing your water. You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:
The job. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family's clothes.
Old painted toys and furniture.
Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain. Food can become contaminated because lead can leach in from these containers.
Lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air.
Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture.
Folk remedies that contain lead, such as "greta" and "azarcon" used to treat an upset stomach.
Lead from paint chips, which you can see, and lead dust, which you can't always see, can be serious hazards.
Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
Note: Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard.
Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it.
Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. Contact the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) to find out about testing soil for lead.
Just knowing that a home has lead-based paint may not tell you if there is a hazard.
To reduce your child's exposure to lead, get your child checked, have your home tested (especially if your home has paint in poor condition and was built before 1978), and fix any hazards you may have.
Note: Home test kits for lead are available, but studies suggest that they are not always accurate. Consumers should not rely on these tests before doing renovations or to assure safety.