lead paint concern for house built before 1978

Asked by Karen, Pittsburgh, PA Wed Oct 29, 2008

We have a young kid at home, to completely stay away the risk of lead paint, is it a sensible decision to look at house built after 1978 only? (which will obviously substantially limit our option given the age of house in Pittsburgh area

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Jeffrey Benn…, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Wed Oct 29, 2008
I would add that the sales agreement allows for a lead inspection. Hardly anyone does it (except HUD when it lists homes), since it's $400+ and can take several days to obtain results. It will tell you in great detail where the lead is and in what concentrations, if you're really concerned.

Even an older house may not be a danger, since it's probably been painted over (perhaps several times) since 1978, with unleaded paint. The lead is not dangerous if it's covered.

Lead paint isn't the biggest safety concern in the home for small children. I believe water (pools and bathtubs), household chemicals, and medications are much higher on the list.

Don't forget to tie up the drapery cords! I found my 1-year-old dangling from them once, and just about had a heart attack (luckily I was right there and she didn't even have time to cry). http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/grand/12steps/12steps.html

(I childproofed my home, but they keep getting in anyway :-)
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Sonia Holmes, , Danbury, CT
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Lead paint is a concern when you have young kids at home but it doesn't mean that everyone stays away from them. I believe you can hire a professional. It is a concern if you walk in a house where paint is chipping of the windows and walls. There is a lead paint booklet. If you need one, I wll be happy to mail you one. Just let me know. Take care and good luck.

Sonia Holmes
203-438-0599 ext. 120
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Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Having had three children in my home, I understand your concern. Lead paint is only a concern if several situations apply.

1 - The lead paint has not been painted over and
2 - Is cracking and flaking and
3 - Your children have a "taste" for eating paint.

Keep the paint for cracking and peeling and keep your children fed. This should help you with any concerns. If you are majorly worried about lead paint hazards, then my answer would have to be to search for a newer home.
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