Generally, as a real estate agent, for any buyer looking at a home built prior to 1978, I prefer to assume that somewhere the property contains lead based paint. Our real estate firm was built in 1935, which likely would test positive for it. If you have children, especially small children, I would consider purchasing a newer home, where this likely would not be an issue. Young children tend to chew on items, put their hands on window sills, touch objects and ingest items. If you are an adult looking for an older property and understand that the property could have lead based paint, you will likely want to have a lead based paint test done to check. If the home does have lead based paint, ask the company who tested it what the steps are to have it professionally mitigated; this can be an expensive endeavor. Should you choose not to test for lead based paint, be extremely careful when painting, sanding walls or wood, or making any other repairs. You do not want to inhale, ingest or expose yourself to lead. From what I have read, the body tends to hold onto heavy metals, such as lead, and they can reach toxic levels in the body and be challenging, potentially impossible, to expel from the body.
Below is some additional information from HUD.gov:
Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.
Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.
Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and can be tracked into the home. Children may become lead poisoned by:
- Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths,
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint, or
- Playing in lead-contaminated soil.
What can you do
If your home was built before 1978:
- Wipe down flat surfaces, especially window sills, with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust
- Take off shoes when entering the house
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery to remove dust
- If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a “higher efficiency” collection bag
- Pick up loose paint chips carefully with a paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel
- Take precautions to avoid creating lead dust when remodeling, renovating or maintaining your home
- Test for lead hazards by a lead professional (Have the soil tested too)
For your child:
- Frequently wash your child’s hands and toys to reduce contact with dust
- Use cold tap water for drinking and cooking
- Avoid using home remedies (such as arzacon, greta, pay-loo-ah, or litargirio) and cosmetics (such as kohl or alkohl) that contain lead
- Certain candies, such as tamarindo candy jam products from Mexico, may contain high levels of lead in the wrapper or stick. Be cautious when providing imported candies to children
- Some tableware, particularly folk terra cotta plates and bowls from Latin America, may contain high levels of lead that can seep into food
Have your child’s blood lead level tested if:
- They live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978
- They live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 with on-going or recent renovations or remodeling
- They have a sibling or playmate who has or did have lead poisoning
Team Anderson Realty can walk you through each step of the home buying process. If you have any concerns about Lead Based Paint in your current home or a home that you are looking to purchase, please call one of our Top Holly Springs Realtor’s at 919-610-5126.