Thursday, April 22, 2010

House renovation: Lead Paint

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is enforcing new regulations to prevent lead poisoning, and if you are considering a home renovation, this might pertain to you.

By requiring states to administer and enforce Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) programs, the government is taking the lead to remove the dangers of lead in paint, the soil around your home, dust, drinking water, and other places you come in contact with in your daily life. Lead poisoning is nothing to fool around with and can lead to serious health problems in your family and community. For instance:

If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:
Damage to the brain and nervous system
Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
Slowed growth
Hearing problems

Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
Reproductive problems (in both men and women)
High blood pressure and hypertension
Nerve disorders
Memory and concentration problems
Muscle and joint pain

If you are planning to buy a home built before 1978 and renovate it, read on:

Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly.

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before buying a pre-1978 housing.  Sellers have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to ten days to check for lead hazards.

Make sure you hire a Qualified Lead Professional to remodel your home, and be sure to read the EPA’s pamphlet on Renovating a Home Built Before 1978.

Following the guidelines is in your family’s best interest!