Q: If my house was built before 1978, should I have it tested for Lead Paint?

A. We generally recommend having your home tested for lead-based paint if it was built before 1978. However, it’s not always necessary!

Many homes built before 1978 have some form of lead-based paint. In 1978, the Federal Government banned the use of lead-based paint, as lead—even at low levels—was tied to a slew of health problems, especially for young children and pregnant women.

If your home contains lead-based paint, it may not be a problem. For example, if new paint thoroughly covers the older lead-based paint, the risk may be negligible. Undisturbed lead paint may also not be a concern.

However, paint that is chipping or peeling could be a concern. Dusty paint may also be a sign that the material is deteriorating, increasing the risk of lead exposure. If you visually inspect the painted areas, look for painted areas that get a lot of wear, e.g. around the windows and door frames.

If you notice chipping, peeling, or dusty paint, a licensed lead inspector or lead risk assessor can collect samples to determine if lead based paint is present, and recommend corrective action, if necessary.

If your residential property is in Philadelphia and you rent to a tenant, you must receive a lead-safe certification or lead-free certification before you execute a new or renewed lease or receive or renew a rental license. These changes are recent, and the program is expanding to additional ZIP codes. You can find more information from The City of Philadelphia.

Before making any decisions, you may want to learn a bit more about how and why lead-based paint in the home can be dangerous. You can find out more in this brochure provided by the EPA. Don’t hesitate to contact Criterion! Our Environmental Consultants are licensed and certified to help you with any lead-based paint hazards.

Call us at (215) 244-1300.

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