When Should I Test for Lead Paint?
Until a 1978 ban, the chemical element lead was added to house paint to help it dry faster, maintain durability, and resist corrosion. Lead, however, is toxic and became a clear danger for children when it was discovered that lead tastes sweet, encouraging ingestion and leading to a multitude of health problems associated with lead poisoning.
Although it was banned 40 years ago, it may still be present in about 80% of housing stock in the New York tri-state area, which was built prior to the ban. The danger is more present than ever, because after 40 years, the lead paint is now breaking down, causing serious health risks.
When to Perform Lead Testing
Lead can be present in multiple locations in and around the home, including in paint, in water, and in the soil. Ingestion of lead can lead to lead poisoning, so having a home tested for lead is critical in the following scenarios:
- If you rent or own a house or apartment built before 1978 (the year lead paint was banned for residential use)
- If you are buying, selling, or renting a condominium, co-op or home built before 1978
- Before beginning any renovation
- Before disturbing a painted surface
- Before beginning any demolition project on a property built before 1978
A word of caution: Removing or disturbing lead-painted surfaces improperly can increase the hazard to your family, because lead dust can be spread around the house. Use only contractors and professionals certified in lead-safe work practices, who follow strict safety rules when working with lead.
Call RTK Environmental at 800.392.6468 to schedule a comprehensive lead inspection.