Sunday, November 14, 2010

Does my house have lead paint?

Lead paint was not banned in the United States until 1978 so homeowners and contractors making modifications to homes build before 1978 are often required by law to take extra precautions. When we owned a circa 1900 condo, we (rightfully) assumed that lead paint was a problem. While other countries banned the use of lead in paint in the early 1900s, it wasn't until decades later that the United States paint industry cut back on lead use in paint, and 1978 before it was completely banned. Now that we own a house originally built in 1959, we have a more laid-back attitude toward lead paint. And, it sounds like such a stance is not unreasonable since the use of lead in paint was greatly reduced in the 1940s and 1950s. It sounds like pressure to reduce lead in interior paint was especially strong during that time. However, as late as 1971, a study done by New York City found that 10% of paints tested contained significant amounts of lead.

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