Do all homes built before 1978 have lead paint?

While it may be refreshing to know that not all homes built before 1978 have lead paint, many still do. Millions of homes in the US were built before 1978 that still have lead in the paint.

Should you be concerned about whether or not your home has this old type of paint? Those are some things that we’ll be covering in this article. We’ll try and give you a better understanding of the situation.

We’ll also be covering other lead-related things that you ought to know. They’re great if you are in the process of renovating your home. It’s also if you’re just a curious visitor of the site.

We’re not going to lie to you. Our business sells lead test kits, which we do mainly for contractors.

It is also important for homeowners to have the necessary information on this topic, our first talking point in this article. It gives you a better understanding of who this article is for.

If you’re mainly selling test kits to contractors, why are you writing this article?

We’re well aware that our website is mainly built to help contractors get the supplies they need to test old homes for lead paint.

Homes they are doing compensated work on, so these pros must abide by the RRP regulations on the topic.

More specifically, these RRP regulations were initially instituted in 2008 to provide requirements on documentation related to lead testing. It includes requirements for the dangerous material when someone is doing compensated work on an old home.

We’re still writing many articles that focus more on homeowners because we know how crucial it is to educate homeowners on the topic.

We also often link to supporting articles like the EPA and fact checks the number of lead homes.

One of the reasons we originally started working on this project was because we spoke to many homeowners.

Many of them had work done on a home built at a time where it would now be required to be tested. What we came to find out was shocking.

Contractors would take immense measures to circumvent the various rules just so that they could avoid testing. The implications of not doing the testing are many, both for you financially and for your and your family’s health.

abandoned staircase

The sad reality

Unfortunately, something that we came to find was often overlooked. We’re hoping to address that by better-educating homeowners, especially ones living in or considering buying an old home.

Staying educated on the topic means you’re aware of what needs to be done when making a home improvement. It includes how you’re ensuring that you get the most value out of a remodel.

We have various resources also on the topic of painters getting the necessary licenses to practice in the state they live in. A lot of the negligence because homeowners may either not be aware of the requirements or don’t care.

Suppose you’ve been remodeling a home, and you’re looking to sell it in the future. There’s a much bigger risk that the offer you will get from a potential buyer ends up being contingent. If you don’t have the proper documentation regarding RRP compliance, you need upgrades.

With those contingencies, you’re not just ending up in a process that’s likely to be more extensive than you imagined the selling process would be.

Often so, what happens is that the buyer will put in a generous offer that is contingent on a bunch of things. Since real estate agents know that most of these homes will have issues with lead paint, the inspector will come in and point it out.

Great, you now have a situation where the offer is no longer valid. The counteroffer that goes on the table looks a lot less appealing than the first offer that came around.

You’re now at a crossroads. Should you put the house back on the market and hope that someone else comes around and puts in that offer that you’ve been hoping for?

Should you make sure that you have the documentation in place beforehand? If so, a possible buyer won’t put a contingency in there, which means they can back out or pull out other tricks.

You could easily say that you aren’t interested in offers contingent on lead paint or additional discovery of the material in the walls.

You help make sure that you are better able to close the deal promptly.

With all that in mind, it is obvious that you’ll be doing some thinking about what the best situation may be in your specific situation.

It might just be a good idea to consult your local real estate agent when you’re trying to sell your home. Hear if other houses in the area have dealt with similar issues when being sold.

If you live in an area that generally has old homes, they’ll know the current norm in the market you’re in. They know how to best deal with the situation there.

However, there is another very serious concern too.

The EPA may have been slow in handing out fines to contractors and homeowners in the year 2020. There’s no denying that you are at risk of getting a substantial fine. It happens if you don’t have the documentation you’re required to have when you’re making home improvements.

That is especially if you’re a landlord.

Certain states have stricter requirements in documenting and sharing information on lead paint when the homes are being rented out.

You could also end up in a situation where you’ll have to do an expensive lead abatement job if you’re renting it out. It might be required to bring the home’s condition back to a state that can be considered livable.

A term that is pretty general and not always specified but can be applied when lead paint has deteriorated over the years.

Great, so it’s just a financial concern to make sure that the walls of my home don’t have this material in them.

It is not. Lead was banned in residential paint for a reason more than 40 years ago. It is no joke.

lead paint inside a home

The reality 40 years ago

Think about the fact that it has been more than 40 years since it was banned, and consider the norm back at that point.

The food pyramid used to look entirely different back then than it does today. Yet, it has remained universally recognized since then that living in a home with deteriorating lead paint poses many health hazards.

Health consequences that you don’t want to be dealing with. They could have a major impact not just on you but especially on kids living in the home or coming over.

Perhaps your niece or nephew comes out regularly. They end up being exposed to the dangerous metal when they’re playing around. It means that they’ll have their blood levels show elevated lead levels when they’re doing their blood testing.

Is that something you want to have on your conscience? We thought so. Of course, it isn’t. The issue is that you’re not just talking about the exposure that will have a consequence now.

We’re talking about lead exposure that will have an ever-lasting consequence on both your health and kids’ health. Kids are especially vulnerable, with exposure meaning many bad things. It includes developmental delays.

When that’s been said, you should also know that just because you don’t end up getting a fine either now or within the next year. There’s no way to know whether the EPA decides that Santa is coming to town next year.

With him, he brings a whole bunch of RRP fines to anyone who hasn’t been able to follow the rules that they explicitly put out.

Ho, ho, ho. Your Christmas just got a lot gloomier.

There are cities across the United States now. It is becoming ever more frequent that landlords are additionally being targeted. This is when they haven’t lived up to the state’s or the EPA’s requirements. There has been a lot of additional focus on ensuring that people aren’t exposed to this evil material.

Although the initial RRP rules were instituted in 2008 and later revised in 2010, it is not something that you can ignore.

It may seem like a long time ago. Still, the reality is that there are a lot of cities that are just now starting to take significantly stronger stances on the topic of lead paint.

Perhaps they were previously unaware of the consequences that it would have. It has just become too big of an issue to ignore with everything going on.

The material was initially added to paint because it significantly helps with durability, among other things.

It may also mean that there were many years following the institution of the ban where paint may have previously been in good condition. 40 years later, the reality is a little bit different.

There’s no denying there has been a greater focus on children’s health, whether it comes to avoiding the obesity pandemic or lead concentrations in their blood.

It is a very unforgiving situation. We wouldn’t wish it on anybody to have to live with the knowledge that your child has elevated lead levels in their blood.

It’s especially not when it could have easily been avoided by addressing peeling paint. You previously saw it but never really thought it was something you had to concern yourself with. After all, it’s just visual.

Maybe you followed the link to the EPA’s website that we included. You would now have seen that it does mean that there are houses that are a lot more at risk than others.

If you’re living in a house built in 1948, there’s a significantly higher risk that your home contains lead than if it was built in 1972. In either case, it must be addressed.

Homes that predate 1940 will have about an 87% chance of containing it. The risk associated with a home built in 1969 will have about a 24% risk of having it. While the risk is lower in the “newer” homes, you’re not safe.

The easiest way to get tranquility in your life is by ensuring that you have had the testing done, especially on visibly deteriorating paint.

So, how do I go about testing? What’s the process?

The fortunate thing is that it isn’t all that difficult to do testing. All you’ll have to do is find one of those EPA-approved kits that can easily help answer your curiosity.

If you’re a homeowner, we recommend that you go with a kit like the one from D-Lead. It can get the job done easily, even if you’re a homeowner rather than a contractor.

It comes with great instructions on how to get the job done and makes sure that you and your family are safe. It will at least give you a course of action if it turns out that the paint isn’t quite as safe as you thought it was.

Those kits come in the amount of 24 tests. While you cannot use each of them on more than just one surface, at least it’s a very homeowner-friendly product. It can help you out without undergoing all the RRP classes that a contractor has.

Suppose they have gone and taken the necessary classes on dealing with lead paint. They should have taken if they present themselves as working on old homes with the material in them.

What are some of the places where you are more likely to be exposed to lead?

As we previously mentioned, the risk of lead in any given material is bigger the older the item is. That is no different if you talk about homes or furniture.

Older things are simply more likely to contain the harmful substance in the paint. You already know that it is the case for houses, but it is the case for other things.

The ban instituted in 1977 only covered the paint in residential homes. However, it did not address that there are still many other places permitted to use the paint.

For instance, you could easily have children’s toys lying around from that period that aren’t safe for your kids to play with.

Kids tend to put things in their mouths, even when they are not supposed to. If the paint on an old piece of a toy is damaged, your toy will be ingesting lead.

It wasn’t until 1992 that a ban was instituted on including paint in consumer products. Even at that point, it wasn’t fully banned. Instead, it was severely limited to the tune of the paint not containing more than 0.5% lead particles.

There are other issues that you may not be aware of. Suppose you like going online, and you sometimes end up on websites that may not be from recognized brands. There’s a very inherent risk you could end up buying something from a country where the manufacturing standards are substantially lower.

Some countries may have laws that shouldn’t include it in the paint. It still isn’t uncommon to end up in products. Sometimes, these products are used by kids.

What is the consequence of these poor manufacturing practices in some countries that we get many of our products from?

Unfortunately, many products do contain harmful material without it being supposed to be there.

It means that there are often recalls on many products consumers have bought. We thought these were going to be safe to use. It subsequently turned out not to be the case.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be very hard for companies to ensure that their manufacturers follow all the necessary laws. It is a very real problem when it comes to lead paint.

When you start searching online, you will find that toy recalls aren’t uncommon. Our research indicated that a significant amount of recalls could be found. Some of them are as new as having happened this year.

For instance, you can see from this list that many toys are sold at Target and Amazon. These companies still haven’t done a good job of ensuring that the products being sold are safe to use.

Finding recalls

If you go to that website, you can also see a bunch of other recalls. It includes the reason why these objects were originally recalled.

It’s interesting to see that most of these products have been sold at very big companies. You would be more prone to think these companies should have had their safety procedures. It should be done to ensure that these problems can’t happen.

The tough thing is that some of these objects are not just being used by very young children. They are the ones that are the most at risk for the adverse side effects stemming from the exposure.

Some of the recalls are used in situations where the product was intended to get close to someone’s mouth, like water bottles.

It leaves us very concerned that so many products are being released and subsequently recalled. It is entirely caused by the fact that the manufacturing standards aren’t being properly upheld.

Thousands of children are exposed to a harmful substance and endure lifelong consequences in the process.

We already talked about the devastating effects that can stem from lead exposure. Although there are fewer recalls than was previously the case, we live in an unprecedented time.

It has become easier for people to buy things from manufacturers in foreign countries. They are then sold on various platforms, sometimes with very little oversight.

It is quite challenging because companies want to make money from selling these various products. The platforms want to take the commissions they are taking to keep operating their business.

It’s a situation where it can be very hard to both accept that we are an economy trying to have relatively open borders for trade. Yet we have to accept that other countries may have radically different safety protocols for things like this.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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