Advice for People Living in Older Homes: Get Educated About Lead Poisoning

Though it has been banned for residential use for decades, lead paint is still present in

many older homes.  In fact, lead based paint was finally banned in the United States in 1978.  Not all that long ago.

Dust and Chips Containing Lead are Poisonous to Humans

Lead paint can cause poisoning in people, especially in young children, who can develop any number of health-related issues from birth defects to organ and brain damage.

Many municipalities have made laws ordering landlords and apartment complexes to remove lead paint from units they own for the safety of tenants.  These ordinances vary from city to city but the important thing we want homeowners and tenants to know is, you should get your home tested for lead by a certified environmental risk assessor.

 Tenants: Ask Your Landlord for a Lead Safe or Lead-Free Certification

If you are a tenant, ask your landlord if he or she has a lead-safe or lead-free certification for the unit you live in.  If not, request one.  It may not be required by law depending on your city, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  It’s not very expensive to get tested and certified.  A few hundred dollars on average.  It’s worth the peace of mind to know you’re safe from lead poisoning.  If your space is found to have a lead exposure hazard, it will certainly be well worth the investment so you can get the heck out of there.

If you are moving into an apartment or renting a home built prior to 1978, request a lead test or proof of lead-safe or lead-free conditions prior to signing a lease.

If you are looking at purchasing a home, (and this goes for Philadelphia or anywhere else), request a lead-safe or lead-free certification.

There is a specific way to remove the paint and laws to follow, so contractors must be certified.  The process is expensive and you don’t want to discover this AFTER you have purchased your home or investment property.