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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
AIRBORNE MOLD SPORE COUNT ACCURACY
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL ODORS IN BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
Cadmium in the home
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Cell phone Radiation Hazards
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
Disinfecting Buildings with Bleach
Diethylstilbestrol - DES
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF Levels of Cancer Risk
ENVIRO-SCARE - PUBLIC FEAR CYCLES
FEAR of MOLD - MYCOPHOBIA
Fireplaces & Woodstove Contaminants
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
ITCHY FABRICS, DIAGNOSE
LAB & FIELD IAQ EQUIPMENT SOP
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
Legionella Legionnaires' Disease
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
Museum Artifact Preservation
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
OXYGEN - O2
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
Pesticide Exposure Hazards
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PLASTIC CONTAINERS, TANKS, TYPES
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC METHANE GAS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SIDING, ASBESTOS FIBER CEMENT
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in BUILDINGS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
World Trade Center Collapse Dust Photos
This article outlines where lead paint was commonly found on building interiors and on building exteriors. These visual clues help warn off building owners or contractors who are about to renovate an older building, or who want to know which surfaces are most at risk and most need to be examined or tested for lead. Actual testing to confirm the presence or absence of lead paint is recommended for older homes. This website provides advice for reducing the risk of lead poisoning for families living in homes where lead exposure is suspected, likely, or where lead contamination is actually confirmed by testing.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Our page top photo of an older wood-sided building with peeling paint also shows how soil around a building may have been lead-contaminated even if the lead-based paint coated siding has since been replaced, re-painted, or covered with a newer material.
The original U.S. CPSC document is public domain. We have made additions to the technical depth of this article and we have added additional important detail about lead hazards - these are indicated by a [bracketed note in italics]. The additional text or commentary, website design, links, and references are independent material.
In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint. Our photo at left shows a building originally constructed in 1759, and which has undergone generations of paint application, coat on top of paint coat.
Our opinion is that there is no reason to test this building for the presence of lead paint - it's a reasonable assumption that lead based paints are present on most painted surfaces in this case.
Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned lead-based paint from housing. Lead can be found:
OPINION-DF: We have a special concern for both the hazards to house painters who often do not take precautions to protect themselves, and for homes that are re-painted without following good housekeeping and lead dust or lead paint chip control.
We recommend insisting that your painter wear appropriate protection while working on your home and that drop cloths be used to collect sanding and paint chips containing lead dust when the home is being prepared for re-painting. If this debris is left on the soil it may form a soil-lead contamination hazard to children later playing in the area close to the building.
Lead from paint chips, which you can see, and lead dust, which you can't always see, can both be serious hazards.
Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard. [DF-note: see comments at my other lead articles cited below, about lead painted window sash dust and toddler lead ingestion]
Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear. These areas include:
Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can reenter the air when people vacuum, sweep, or walk through it.
Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. Call your state agency (see below) to find out about soil testing for lead.
Also see Lead Enviro-Scare.
Watch out for environmental testing and cleanup that are not performed by qualified experts. Details & examples of what can go wrong are at ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Amateur, Incomplete and Asbestos Removal, Certification.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about the hazards of lead based paint in buildings
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.