Hire a certified lead specialist to remove lead-based paint
How to find useful service providers
Lead-based paint in good condition doesn’t pose an immediate danger, but if you are planning renovations or repainting that will disturb a painted surface and your home was built before 1978, you should get the paint tested for lead. Lead paint can be found anywhere inside or outside the home but is most often found on windows, doors, trim, railings, porches, columns, and outside walls.
Home test kits are available but may not produce accurate results, so hiring a certified testing professional is recommended. To locate a certified lead specialist for lead-paint testing or removal you can:
- Call your state government (health department, lead poison prevention program, or housing authority).
- Call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).
- Go to the US Environmental Protection Agency website and click on "certified abatement/inspection firms."
Just keep in mind that regardless of who's doing the removal, it's a good idea to keep your family out of your home during the time that lead-based paint is being removed.
Hiring a certified lead specialist to remove lead-based paint helps you go green because…
- You won’t be allowing toxic lead dust to be released into the air, which could endanger the health of everyone in your household.
Lead is a heavy metal that can cause damage to human nervous systems, kidneys, and blood systems. It is a highly toxic, environmentally-persistent substance that takes decades to break down in the natural environment, posing a serious risk of poisoning to water fowl, fish-eating birds, as well as mammals.
Approximately 38 million, or more than 40 percent of homes built before 1978, contain lead paint, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you do have lead paint, the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that there is no totally safe method for homeowners to remove lead-based paint on their own. Every paint-removal method, from sandpaper and scrapers to chemicals, torches and heat guns, can create airborne lead fumes or dust, which can be inhaled and cause serious health issues, particularly for children. Trained professionals follow detailed procedures to minimize, control, and contain lead dust produced by the removal or abatement process.
- American Industrial Hygiene Association - Is Lead a Problem in My Home?
- Consumer Product Safety Commission - CPSC Warns About Hazards of “Do It Yourself” Removal of Lead Based Paint
- Children’s Health Environmental Coalition - Detecting and Removing Lead Paint
- Colorado State University Cooperative Extension - Lead-Based Paint in Homes
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Lead-Based Paint
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home