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Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.

EPA

8 Important Reasons to Get Your Home Inspected For Lead

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Millions of U.S. homes still have lead paint somewhere in them. In Massachusetts it estimated that 90% of the homes were built before 1978 and only 17% of those homes have been inspected for lead paint.

Here are some very important reasons why you should have your home inspected:

  1. Statewide, about 3 percent of children under age 4 tested positive last year for elevated blood-lead levels. In Flint, Mich., the exposure rate was 5 percent.
  2. In several communities, the rates of exposure to elevated lead levels are heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods. New Bedford, Brockton, Milford, Fall River and Worcester, for example, all have census tracts where more than 10 percent of children have blood-lead levels higher than 5 milligrams per deciliter, much higher than overall exposure rates across the entire community.
  3. Lead poisoning can cause a drop in IQ, developmental delays and neurologic changes. It doesn’t always produce symptoms, but people with lead poisoning may experience body aches, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, irritability and insomnia.
  4. Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  5. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  6. Projects that disturb painted surfaces can create dust and endanger you and your family.
  7. Pregnant women exposed to lead can transfer lead to their fetuses. Lead gets into the body when it is swallowed or inhaled.
  8. Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ and learning disabilities and behavior problems.

If your home was built before 1978, have your home tested for lead and learn about potential lead hazards. Fix any hazards that you may have. You can get your home checked in one or both of the following ways:

  1. A paint inspection — Tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home, but does not tell you if the paint is a hazard or how to deal with it. This is most appropriate when you are buying a home or signing a lease, before you renovate, and to help you determine how to maintain your home for lead safety.
  2. A risk assessment — Tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure such as peeling paint and lead dust, and tells you what actions to take to address these hazards. This is most helpful if you want to know if lead is causing exposure to your family now.

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