What is Lead?
Lead is a toxic heavy metal found in mineral deposits in the earth’s crust.Because of its abundance, low cost, and physical properties, lead and lead compounds, historically were used in paint, gasoline, ceramics, plumbing pipes and solders. The most widespread source of lead today for U.S. children is in lead paint that remains in older buildings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 80 percent of homes built before 1978, or roughly 64 million, contain lead paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978.
Today, the most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are due to lead-based paint hazardous in older residential homes. Lead paint, which was prized for its durability, was used in high traffic and high moisture areas. Lead paint can be found on interior and exterior painted surfaces of a home. Lead has also been found in the paint on old furniture. Toys and jewelry made in other countries can sometimes contain high lead levels. Lead may be present in some glassware and in glazes on ceramic ware.
Disturbance of lead paint can create a hazard. If you are planning on doing renovation, remodeling, or repainting, you should have testing done.