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NACHI20092908 | ASHI # 268599
Today, we know that lead is a highly-toxic material. It can cause developmental issues in kids, fertility problems, kidney dysfunction, heart disease, and many other health problems. Before that information came to light, it was widely used for things like piping, solder, and paint.
Lead was a common additive in paint because it accelerated the drying process, helped the paint look bright for a longer period of time, and helped increased durability and corrosion resistance. It’s estimated that, by the time it was banned in 1978, lead paint had been used in 37 million homes and apartments in the US.
The only way to make sure your home is free of this dangerous substance is to have your paint tested. Without lead paint testing, you and your family could be at risk of lead exposure and its associated health effects.
Primarily, your need for lead paint testing depends on the age of your home. The EPA estimates that 24% of homes built between 1960-1977 contain lead paint. 69% of homes built between 1940-1959 use lead paint, and more than 87% of homes built before 1940 contain lead paint.
You should test for lead if your home was built in these time periods, and if you have noticed deteriorating paint that is chipping, damaged, damp, peeling, or becoming “chalky.”
Lead testing should also be conducted before you repaint, renovate or remodel your home. While lead paint is relatively harmless when undisturbed, it can be dangerous when it is peeled or scraped away.