We get asked many questions related to Check4Lead and lead paint testing in general. We will try to answer some of those questions on this page. We encourage you to browse the various sections on this website. We have answered questions significantly more in-depth in other places.
This page is meant to summarize some of the information across our various pages on Check4Lead. Stay up to date on what is going on in the world of lead abatement. We would like to refer you to our blog. We have extensively covered many topics, including how you can safely remove drywall and painting while pregnant. You can also find resources on illegal landlord actions and more.
We also encourage you to visit our home page to see all the various products for sale on the website. Or visit our pages where you can either buy the 48 kits or this page if you consider buying in bulk.
D-Lead is the product that we officially recommend on this website. Surprisingly, we find that many of our users still prefer to test with the 3M products.
Here are some of the questions that we get asked the most to help you learn more about the topic.
Is lead paint always dangerous, and how do I know if I have been exposed to it?
There are cases when you don’t necessarily need to worry about lead, but that is only when you make sure you don’t end up getting exposed to it. Heavy metal is especially damaging to our youngest ones. It is especially important to make sure there aren’t any easily available sources when you have young ones living at home.
Maybe you know you have lead in the paint, but it is in good condition. You are entirely sure of it, and there isn’t all that much need to worry about. However, different states require that you continuously test and ensure that the paint is in good condition if you rent out a place you own.
We encourage both contractors and others to make sure they comply with RRP regulations. Be aware of the local regulations regarding heavy metal as those may be more strict than what the EPA has instituted on the topic.
The issue with the metal is that once it goes from being safely trapped, often under several layers of paint. It is released in the dust when the paint starts deteriorating, and it may crack. You suddenly get lead dust which will be dangerous if inhaled.
If I know that the paint contains it, what are my options?
If you are already aware that the paint in your home contains it, you have a couple of options. It is assuming your state doesn’t require that you address the situation.
You can either have your home abated and make sure that it is removed wherever found, or you can have it encapsulated. Make sure you can be extremely strict in cleaning up any dust you find in the process. While cleaning up the dust is not the ideal solution, it is still better than doing nothing and accumulating dust in your home.
You should know that even if you don’t have the heavy metal inside your home, you may have it outside if you have a home that was built pre-1978. If that is the case, the metal may have leaked into the soil outside, having contaminated it. If you have kids who like putting things in their mouth, they are very likely getting exposed to it like that. You could easily be dragging dust from the outside into the house. You’ll quickly have the dust enter like that. It would make your home unsafe to be in.
Get a thorough inspection of your home if you are either experiencing any of the symptoms associated with exposure. Do so also if you have a home that was built pre-1978. This way, you will sleep more relaxed at night. You at least know the level of risk that you may be exposing your family to.
The best solution is to get it abated to make sure that you are avoiding unnecessary exposure. You will need to prepare yourself if you choose to have that done because lead abatement is a rather expensive undertaking.
What are some of the symptoms that I should be looking out for?
Lead poisoning is a serious threat that can cause a range of threats to your health, especially for kids that are still evolving. Under all circumstances, it’s always better to limit your exposure to lead as much as possible.
For kids, it can result in significant deficiencies in their development.
The effects will occur from a buildup in the heavy metal body, as it builds up with months or years of exposure. You shouldn’t be left to think that it is safe in small doses, as even small doses can have serious health effects. Children under the age of 6 are more at risk than anyone else as exposure can severely affect physical and mental development. There are some horrific articles out there with the consequences of extensive exposure to lead among kids. It is no surprise that New York requires testing at ages 1 and 2. They also have extensive problems with lead in their public housing, especially in the Bronx.
Some of the symptoms you should be looking out for in children include seizures and hearing loss. It also includes constipation and developmental delay. Issues with learning and increased irritability may also be symptoms of fatigue and vomiting. If babies have been exposed to lead before being born, it is common they are born prematurely. They’re often born with lower birth weight and with delays to their otherwise expected growth, too.
Symptoms with adults are some of the same but maybe expressed less severely than in kids. It is especially important to look out for miscarriage and premature birth. It also causes mood disorders and abdominal pain. Headaches and difficulties with memory or concentration could also occur, and these symptoms shouldn’t be taken lightly. Lastly, muscle pain and high blood pressure in adults could be poisoning symptoms.
Maybe you have the slightest belief that there might be a reason you have elevated lead levels. We strongly encourage you to ask your doctor to have a test done. It’s the absolute easiest way to settle your concerns. If you find that your levels are higher than they should be, you must seek out and find out where the sources of exposure are. Then you can take appropriate actions to eliminate those from your life.
What are some of the necessary disclosures regarding lead paint?
We would love to give you a simple answer to this question. You must consult with your local government to see the regulations regarding disclosures as they vary from state to state. The EPA has made a great page. You can start further exploring your rights if you are a buyer or renter. It also includes your responsibilities to sell or otherwise make the property available to others.
It is better to go there and read for yourself rather than have us reiterate all the information. The EPA has already provided everything for you. We are at the risk that we may get some small details incorrect.
The EPA has made a great pamphlet on the topic that we encourage you to read, titled “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.” It can be found right here.
What are my responsibilities if I have a house built pre-1978 and I want to remodel it?
If you have a home built before 1978, the risk of containing lead is substantial. You might be ready to take the risk upon yourself and ignore the health concerns regarding the material. You risk significant financial loss if you don’t comply with the relevant regulations on the topic.
Maybe you are making any home improvements that may interfere with the paint. You are forced to comply with the RRP regulations whether you like it or not. Given the millions of homes that still contain lead today, it is no joke that the EPA instituted these rules when they did. They are still handing out substantial fines to homeowners and companies that don’t comply with the law. For instance, a very famous fine was handed out to the HGTV stars of $40,000 for not complying.
There is no reason to believe that the EPA will be more forgiving if you don’t comply with the law.
What should I know about older homes and furniture?
If you like doing projects at home, you should know that you shouldn’t just start sanding that old furniture you have. You want to give it a new piece of paint, but make sure it’s safe first. The older things are, the more likely it contains lead. It does not matter if you are talking about furniture or homes. Protecting your family against unnecessary exposure starts with knowing where the exposure comes from. If you live in a house built before 1940, there is an 87% chance it has lead in it.
While old may give you a sense of nostalgia, buying something from that period also comes with many health risks.
Do all homes built before 1978 have lead paint
We previously mentioned that older homes are more problematic than newer ones. Specifically, ones built before 1978. While it serves very little consolidation, not all homes built before then have lead paint in them. Certain states made the use of such paint illegal than others did. Know that it’s not everywhere with as strict legislation on the topic as the US, so if you end up going abroad. You buy child toys. You may be risking the child you intended on giving them to is unnecessarily exposed due to it. All you wanted was to engage in the act of kindness.
Is it safe to live in a house with lead paint?
Generally, it is considered safe as long as the paint is either encapsulated or not damaged. The issue just is that it is rarely the case. As the years go by, you will find cracks in the paint. You will find that the outside paint is severely exposed to the elements, so it will also be the first paint showing signs of aging.
When it ages, lead dust will be released. It will lie on the floor and top of the furniture. You can find it in other places until the wind blows it around. You end up at severe risk because of the exposure. If it is outside, it will start accumulating in the soil. While you don’t want your child to be putting everything in their mouth, you can’t stop them from doing so. Abatement may also mean that you have the soil abated outside your home.
Limiting unnecessary exposure
It is not just important to have safety issues addressed at home. You can do various things to have any safety concerns addressed. If you go abroad, you can avoid buying things with paint on them containing it. It means that you shouldn’t be buying those toys when you go abroad. You should also be careful and ideally avoid buying spices when you go abroad as those have been found to have high lead levels.