How do I know if my house has lead-based paint?
Older homes, child care facilities, and schools are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes that contain lead-based paint may be single-family homes or apartments. They may be private, government-assisted, or public housing. They may be urban, suburban, or rural. You have the following options:
- Assume your home contains lead. Especially in older homes and buildings, this is the simplest and safest approach. For example, 87% of homes built before 1940 have some lead-based paint, while 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have some lead-based paint.
- Test for lead using a lead test kit. EPA-recognized test kits are available at hardware stores. Carefully follow the detailed instructions for their use. To learn more about EPA-recognized test kits, visit http://epa.gov/lead/testkit.html.
- Hire a certified professional to check for lead-based paint. A certified inspector or risk assessor can conduct an inspection to determine whether your home or a portion of your home has lead-based paint and where it is located. This will tell you the areas in your home where lead-safe work practices should be used for renovation, repair, or painting jobs. A certified risk assessor can conduct a risk assessment telling you whether your home currently has any lead hazards from lead in paint, dust, or soil. The risk assessor can also tell you what actions to take to address any hazards. For help finding a certified risk assessor or inspector, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).