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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CADMIUM in the HOME
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CELL PHONE RADIATION
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDSRE
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS at BUILDINGS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD CONSULTANTS / INSPECTORS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS & NOISES
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PET STAINS & MARKS in BUILDINGS
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
This article outlines where lead paint was commonly found on building interiors and on building exteriors. These visual clues help warn off building owners or contractors who are about to renovate an older building, or who want to know which surfaces are most at risk and most need to be examined or tested for lead. Actual testing to confirm the presence or absence of lead paint is recommended for older homes. This website provides advice for reducing the risk of lead poisoning for families living in homes where lead exposure is suspected, likely, or where lead contamination is actually confirmed by testing.
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Our page top photo of an older wood-sided building with peeling paint also shows how soil around a building may have been lead-contaminated even if the lead-based paint coated siding has since been replaced, re-painted, or covered with a newer material.
The original U.S. CPSC document is public domain. We have made additions to the technical depth of this article and we have added additional important detail about lead hazards - these are indicated by a [bracketed note in italics]. The additional text or commentary, website design, links, and references are independent material.
In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint. Our photo at left shows a building originally constructed in 1759, and which has undergone generations of paint application, coat on top of paint coat.
Our opinion is that there is no reason to test this building for the presence of lead paint - it's a reasonable assumption that lead based paints are present on most painted surfaces in this case.
Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned lead-based paint from housing. Lead can be found:
OPINION-DF: We have a special concern for both the hazards to house painters who often do not take precautions to protect themselves, and for homes that are re-painted without following good housekeeping and lead dust or lead paint chip control.
We recommend insisting that your painter wear appropriate protection while working on your home and that drop cloths be used to collect sanding and paint chips containing lead dust when the home is being prepared for re-painting. If this debris is left on the soil it may form a soil-lead contamination hazard to children later playing in the area close to the building.
Lead from paint chips, which you can see, and lead dust, which you can't always see, can both be serious hazards.
Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard. [DF-note: see comments at my other lead articles cited below, about lead painted window sash dust and toddler lead ingestion]
Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear. These areas include:
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 reenter 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. Call your state agency (see below) to find out about soil testing for lead.
Also see Lead Enviro-Scare.
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