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Moving into an old home with lead hazards...HELP with making it safe....

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We signed a lease on a beautiful old house yesterday. It has all been repainted inside and out and the paint is in good shape. However, when I swabbed the windowsill where there was a tiny chipped off spot, it turned bright red. So I know that there is lead underneath all that new paint. We haven't moved in yet, so I haven't had a chance to swab anything else, but I know the doors are old and so are the cupboards. On the windowsills I was going to use Child Guard encapsulating paint in case the kids grab onto the windowsills (I have a 3 year old and a 4 month old), but what is the safest course of action for doors and cupboards, since those surfaces encounter friction? Right now they are in good shape with the new paint over the top, but I am concerned. What do I need to do and what do I need to worry about?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 5

I would try contacting your county's board of heath/ health department.

 

They usually have a lead testing/ safety department.  When we lived in Indianapolis, the county came out to our house for free and tested the entire house.  Their detailed report told us which areas of the house has the most lead dust, which were considered low risk, high risk, etc.  They also handled all of the contact with the landlord, who was then responsible for making the repairs.  I would suggest keeping a close eye on the repairs.  You don't ever want any sanding, grinding, or anything that will blast lead dust into your breathing air.  

 

They also gave us some suggestions on how to clean the floors regularly to keep the lead dust off.  (Powdered diswasher detergent dissolved in warm water? i think)

 

Unfortunately, there's probably going to be lead in a lot of places in your house.  Anything built that long ago has layers of lead paint and lead dust under there somewhere.  

 

My biggest disappointment was realizing that the outside soil must have lead in it, too, so we never felt comfortable growing any vegetables :-(

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your suggestion! I will give them a call and see if they offer any services. I am well aware that there will be lead paint underneath the new paint, but am under the impression that that's ok as long as it is not peeling or chipping and generating dust...Is that correct? If so, I would rather avoid any kind of renovation work and just make sure the paint stays intact. 

 

My landlord has agreed to pay for this stuff: http://www.fiberlock.com/lead/5801.html

It is supposed to encapsulate lead paint and render it harmless. I will definitely be using it on windowsills and doors and cupboards and anywhere that the kids can reach. I have read that Simple Green picks up lead dust pretty well, so I guess I will be using it to clean...

Any other considerations?

 

One concern I have is the forced air heating system. When we turn it on in the fall, do I need to worry about lead dust from previous renovations blowing into the apartment from the ducts? The last renovation was done in 2009 so a few seasons of heat being on have passed...

post #4 of 5

Yes, I think you are right to avoid any new renovation work. And, yes, I don't think its very harmful if the old lead paint has been thoroughly painted over with new paint.  

 

That's a good question about the forced hot air..... I kind of make it a habit to open the windows each morning and get fresh air in the house.  I think that's supposed to help in general with air quality.  Maybe you can do that.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
 I kind of make it a habit to open the windows each morning and get fresh air in the house. I think that's supposed to help in general with air quality. 

 

actually this is not the case if you live near a road!

 

many think of lead only in paint and it's not- ground contamination is hugh and so is road/engine exhaust - just to mention a few sources-lead has only been removed in commercial gasoline yet roads are coated with it! Asphalt in road and roofing is rampant!

 

also playing inside an old tire as a sandbox or as a swing is soooooooo lead filled!

 

people think first PAINT but miss so many other sources- please contact your state and the federal agencies that cover lead they will inform you best- most counties are clueless and MOST states will not do a thing based on a rental not in a multi unit regardless of how much lead there in the place

 

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