Did you know that approximately three-quarters of the housing in the United States built before 1978 contain lead-based paint? That is about 64 million homes. Lead paint can pose little risk, but it can also cause serious risks when it isn't properly maintained and managed. The EPA has provided this pamphlet to help answer some of your questions about Lead Poisoning and why you should know.
There are approximately 1.7 million children that have blood-lead levels above safe limits. Lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage and damage other organs. It can also cause abnormal fetal development for pregnant women. Lead comes into bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, soil or paint chips.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction ACT of 1992 directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure people receive information needed to protect themselves from lead-based paint hazards.
In 2008, EPA issued the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. It requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA. If you are a homeowner performing renovation, repair, or painting work in your own home, EPA's RRP rule does not cover your project. For information on the RRP click here.
For home buyers federal regulations require that home sellers provide lead disclosures to home buyers who are purchasing a home built before 1978. Buyers have 10 days to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense. The regulation does not require any testing or removal of lead-based paint by sellers.