All houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. However, it is the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem. Approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust.

What Is Lead Paint?

“Lead paint” and “lead-based paint” are common terms used to describe any household paint that contains lead. Prior to the 1980s, lead was commonly added to paints to accelerate the drying process, maintain durability, and add moisture resistance. It was a cheap, effective way to manufacture paint.

In the United States, lead was banned from inclusion in household paints in 1978 due to the serious health risks associated with its use. Non-leaded pigments, anti-corrosive agents, and driers are now widely available and frequently used by paint manufacturers, so you’re not likely to find lead-based paint on the shelf of your local hardware or paint store.

What Are the Health Risks of Lead Paint?

There’s a good reason that lead-based paint was banned in the United States. Lead is a toxic metal, and if you have it in your home, it’s important to take steps to ensure you limit the health risks to you and your family.

Children are at increased risk for lead poisoning, through ingestion from several sources. They have a tendency to chew on lead-painted surfaces. These may include door edges, window sills, built-in shelving, and even some toys. Lead paint chips and dust can coat their sticky fingers as they play on the ground and subsequently put those fingers in their mouths. Both children and adults are most at risk when lead paint peels, cracks, chips, or deteriorates over time and produces lead dust.

When lead dust particles are inhaled, they can lead to serious and sometimes fatal health problems. Symptoms include the following:

  1. High blood pressure/Headaches
  2. Developmental problems in children
  3. Nausea, abdominal pain, joint & muscle pain
  4. Memory, focus problems & mood disorders
  5. Fertility problems in both men & woman

Identifying Lead Based Paint

Chief among them is “alligatoring”, which happens when the paint starts to crack and wrinkle, creating a pattern that resembles reptilian scales. This is a sign that your paint may contain lead. Another sign that you might be dealing with lead paint is if it produces a chalky residue when it rubs off.

Can you paint over lead based paint?

As long as it’s not chipping, You can absolutely paint over lead-based paint in your home, but it’s important to follow specific steps, guidelines, and safety protocols. … In fact, it’s less expensive and safer than lead paint removal, since it doesn’t disturb the existing paint and doesn’t tend to release lead dust or toxic particles into the air.

If you can’t paint over the wall due to “alligatoring”, you must hire a professional lead based removal contractor to remove your paint.

Alligatoring

Sample Lead Based Kit
Sample Mold Kit