If you are planning a renovation project for your home, you should be aware of the potential danger of exposure to lead paint.
If your home was built prior to 1978, there may be lead in the exterior or interior paint. Before any painting and repairs begin, have a lead inspection.
- Make sure all surfaces that will be affected during the construction are tested for lead paint. For a list of testing labs in your area, consult the local online or print phone directory under “Laboratories” and “Lead Removal and Abatement.”
- Dust from lead paint is the main cause of lead poisoning. Disturbance of lead painted surfaces during renovation increases the quantity of lead dust. This dust can be carried throughout your house, where it remains. It is a hazard to young children who get it on their hands and toys, where it can be swallowed. Lead dust is difficult to clean up once it is created.
- Lead causes damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and blood. Early lead poisoning may have no symptoms or symptoms that can easily be confused with other illnesses. Some of the effects on young children are long term and may permanently cause learning difficulty and IQ deficits.
- Small children and women of child bearing age are at greatest risk. Infants living in older houses should have blood lead level screening at 6 months of age. All children under 6 years of age should be screened and have follow-up tests as recommended by their doctors or health clinic.
If lead paint is found in your home, its removal can be very dangerous both to workers and to the family that occupies the home later. It’s best to hire professional contractors who are trained and certified in lead paint removal and know how to protect themselves and your family.
Some Basic Facts and Advice
- Lead paint removal can be dangerous if done improperly.
- If you are painting or repairing in a lead paint area, children and pregnant women should stay out of the dwelling until cleanup is complete.
- Don’t sand, grind, plane, burn, dry scrape or sandblast any area covered with lead paint. The resulting dust is deadly.
- Contact the Maryland Department of the Environment, Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, at 410-537-3825 for more information on State regulations concerning lead abatement. MDE Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
- Maryland State Law requires that an “affected property,” defined as residential rental property built before 1950 that has not been certified as lead-free and is not a hotel, motel or rooming house, be registered on a REGISTRY CHECKLIST (PDF).