Lead Based Paint : Warning Signs, Concerns, and Precautions

Moving in to your new home should be a joyous occasion filled with laughs, shared-experiences, and in the worst of scenarios, heavy boxes to move. However, the hardships could go far beyond that, and sometimes even be life threatening. In the case of lead and lead-based paints, this is ever so true, which is why knowing the warning signs and concerns and how to deal with them is extremely important. In the following post we will walk you through detecting and dealing with lead paint in your new home or rental property.

What is lead-based paint and why is it so dangerous?

Not in use since 1978, lead-based paint is paint sometimes found in older homes or rental homes,  that contains amounts of lead in an effort to dry faster, be more durable, look better, and help resist moisture which causes corrosion. In theory this sounds like a great idea, but quickly people began to realize that it came with some very bad side-effects.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is the main concern when dealing with anything that contains lead. According to The Mayo Clinic, lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, and even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems like seizures, developmental delays and stunted growth in children or high blood pressure and infertility in adults among many many other bad side-effects.

Why is lead poisoning so dangerous?

The biggest reasoning that lead poisoning is so dangerous is not because of the side-effects entirely, but it is due to the fact that once you begin to show symptoms of lead poisoning or elevated lead levels, it means that the amount of lead in your body is already at an alarming level. Seeking treatment immediately is extremely important.

Does my home have lead-based paint?

First thing to ask yourself is, “What year was my home or rental home built?”. Only homes that were built before 1978 have the possibility of containing lead paint. If your home or rental was built before 1978 and you or someone in your family is showing symptoms of lead poisoning, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

Chipping paint does not alway mean lead-based paint

When paint ages it often dries out and begins to crack or peel. One of the signs of lead-based paint(s)  is that it begins to chip and create what are known as “paint chips”. These sweet-flavored chips can be especially hazardous to younger children. However, just because the paint in your home or rental is beginning to dry out and crack or chip does not mean this is lead-based paint. Again, we ask ourselves what year the property was built in. If it is after 1978, then the paint most likely is NOT lead-based. Also, if no one in your home is showing any signs of possible lead poisoning there may not be reason for concern. The best thing to do is to either have the paint tested, or call the landlord and request that the paint be tested.

I found lead-based paint. What do I do?

If you have found lead-based paint in your home and have been tested and are showing signs of elevated lead levels, it is very important to not only communicate with the Health Department but if you rent your home, you need to talk to your landlord. If your landlord refuses to act or help you, you have the right to put money in a rent escrow account through the Toledo Municipal Court as well as report the situation to the Health Department where there is possibility of fines if the lead paint has not been addressed. It is NEVER okay to just stop paying your rent.

My family has been exposed. What do I do?

The most important thing you can do if you fear you or a member of your family has been exposed to lead is to get a blood test right away. If you test positive for elevated lead levels you must next visit the Health Department and they will begin to investigate the possibilities of lead and what caused the increase levels in your test(s). Your landlord should be notified so they can assist in getting the paint tested as well, but remember just because paint is chipping or peeling in your home or rental does NOT mean it is lead-based paint.

Current prevention methods

As of 2018, an estimated 37 million homes and apartments containing lead-based paint still exist in the United States. Due to the severity of lead poisoning and lead itself, there have been many regulations put in place. As of 2010 all renovators that are working on homes that were built before 1978 and contain more that 6 sq ft. of lead paint inside the home must be certified by the EPA. In Ohio the law also mandates blood lead screening for all “high risk” children 72 months (6 years) of age and below. For more information on who is considered “high risk” please visit http://www.lucascountyhealth.com/lead-prevention-2/  

We can help

When it comes to property management in Toledo, Ohio, Buckeye Northwest Realty will always take the extra step to ensure our tenants and owners are safe and healthy. If you suspect lead in your home or rental home that is managed by Buckeye Northwest Realty please contact us right away and we will do whatever it takes to help in the matter.

Health Department # (419) 213-4100 | 635 N. Erie St, Toledo, OH 43604
Buckeye Northwest Realty # (419) 385-5555 | 1725 Arlington Ave, Toledo, OH 43609
Emergency Services # 911
Health Department Emergency Contact # (419) 936-2020

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