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Buying
Lead Paint Warning

Watch Out for Lead-Based Paint!

If the home you intend to purchase was built before 1978, it may contain lead-based paint. About three out of every four pre-1978 buildings have lead-based paint.

What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning means having high concentrations of lead in the body. Lead can:
  • Cause major health problems, especially in children under 7 years old.
  • Damage a child's brain, nervous system, kidneys, hearing, or coordination.
  • Affect learning.
  • Cause behavior problems, blindness, even death.
  • Cause problems in pregnancy and affect a baby's normal development.

Who Gets Lead Poisoning?
Anyone can get it, but children under 7 are at the greatest risk, because their bodies are not fully grown and are easily damaged. The risk is worse if the child:
  • Lives in an older home (built before 1978, and even more so before 1960).
  • Does not eat regular meals (an empty stomach accepts lead more easily).
  • Does not eat enough foods with iron or calcium.
  • Has parents who work in lead-related jobs.
  • Has played in the same places as siblings and friends who have been lead poisoned. (Lead poison cannot be spread from person to person. It comes from contact with lead.)
  • Women of childbearing age are also at risk, because lead poisoning can cause miscarriages, premature births, and the poison can be passed onto their unborn babies.

Where does it come from?
The lead hazards that children most often touch are lead dust, leaded soil, loose chips and chewable surfaces with lead-based paint.A child may be harmed when it puts into its mouth toys, pacifiers, or hands that have leaded soil or lead dust on them. Lead also comes from:
  • Moving parts of windows and doors that can make lead dust and chips.

  • Lead-based paint on windows, doors, wood trim, walls and cabinets in kitchens and bath rooms, on porches, stairs, railings, fire escapes and lamp posts.
  • Soil next to exterior of buildings that have been painted with lead-based paint and leaded gasoline dust in soil near busy streets.
  • Drinking water. (pipes and solder)
  • Parents who may bring lead dust home from work on skin, clothes, hair.
  • Colored newsprint and batteries.
  • Highly glazed pottery and cookware from other countries.
  • Removing old paint when refinishing furniture.