Everything You Need to Know About Lead Safety at Home 

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz 

That gorgeous turn-of-the-century home you hope to lovingly restore or that special family heirloom that’s earned pride of place in your living room may be utterly charming … and covered in lead-based paint. You likely already know that although lead-based paint has been outlawed since 1978, many old homes and buildings still contain this dangerous substance — what you may not know is exactly what you’re supposed to do about it. 

Lead is found not just in paint and trim. It can be present in the soil around our homes, window glass, plumbing, old painted furniture and toys, glazed ceramics, crystal and other objects. It’s dangerous to adults and especially harmful to babies and young children, so knowing how to properly test for and treat it is essential for a healthy home. Get the full scoop here. 

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Nontoxic Paint 

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Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz 

If You Have a Pre-1978 Home 

Have a paint inspection and risk assessment done. 

If your home or apartment was constructed before 1978, there is a possibility it contains lead — and the older your home is, the more likely it is there is some lead in it. The surest way to know is to hire a certified inspection, risk assessment and abatement pro. During a paint inspection, the pro will test all surfaces inside and outside your home for lead. If you have young children at home, you should also have a risk assessment done — this will help give you a fuller picture of potential lead exposure in and around your home; it will include a soil test and possibly a water test, too. 

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