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Testing for Lead Paint

By HHI Staff

You don’t have to live in a deteriorating tenement house to have valid lead-paint concerns. The truth is, lead was still used as a paint ingredient up until the mid-1970s. Fortunately, though, if the paint is intact and not deteriorating, it may not be hazardous. However, if it’s peeling, or if you plan to scrape or sand it, you should first make sure your paint is lead-free before proceeding with remedial measures.

 

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Lead check swabs can be used for a quick and simple lead test, and you can use them easily yourself. These are sold in many hardware and building centers. The EPA, however, recommends hiring a professional for testing and/or risk assessment. If the lead test is positive, consider contacting your local board of health for suggestions and regulations on how to proceed. Never sand or scrape lead-containing paint yourself. Lead particles that are ingested or inhaled can cause mental retardation in children and serious illness in adults.

 

For additional information on lead, call the EPA’s National Lead Information Center at 1(800) 424-LEAD [5323].

 

From Creating a Healthy Household: The Ultimate Guide For Healthier, Safer, Less-Toxic Living. © 2000 by Lynn Marie Bower. 

 

 

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Testing for Lead Paint:  Created on February 7th, 2007.  Last Modified on February 28th, 2011

 

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