When purchasing a second-hand home, one must be aware of the potential risks associated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was commonly used in homes built before 1978, and it can pose serious health risks, especially to children and pregnant women. As a homebuyer, you have the right to know if the home you are considering contains lead-based paint. You must also ensure that any renovation work is done safely and responsibly.
Health risks of lead-based paint
Lead-based paint can be found in many different parts of a home, including walls, windows, doors and even in some furniture and toys. Exposure to these particles can cause a range of health problems, including:
- Developmental delays and learning disabilities
- Behavioral problems and hyperactivity
- Reduced IQ and cognitive abilities
- Hearing and speech problems
- Renal damage and anemia
- Reproductive problems and high blood pressure
Renovation work can disturb lead-based paint. Once it releases toxic dust and chips into the air, it can heighten the probability of exposure to harmful elements. That is why it is important to know if the house you are purchasing can expose your family to such risks.
Do not expose your family to these risks
To ensure your family is protected from lead-related health risks, you may also take the following precautions when considering renovating a second-hand home:
- Hire a certified contractor who has received training on lead-safe work practices.
- Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and goggles, to prevent exposure to dust and chips.
- Contain the work area to prevent lead dust and chips from spreading to other parts of the home.
- Clean up thoroughly after the renovation work is complete. You can use a HEPA vacuum and wet cleaning methods.
These precautions can lessen the possibility of exposure to lead. However, it is still important that the seller has disclosed the presence of such risks openly.
Your rights as a homebuyer
As a homebuyer, you have the right to know if the home you are considering contains lead-based paint. The seller must provide you with a lead-based paint disclosure form, as well as any records of lead-based paint testing that they have done if there are any.
Lead-based paint and renovation work in second-hand homes can pose serious health risks, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. If you suspect that the seller has failed to disclose the presence of lead-based paint or has not followed lead-safe work practices during renovation work, you may have grounds for a complaint. You can file a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It would be best to consult with an attorney to explore your legal options.