For decades, Americans have known about the effects of lead based paints, but there was a collective perception that this danger just lurked in old urban apartment buildings. In truth lead based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
The EPA’s stance on the homeowner’s role in maintaining a healthy home? “You have the ultimate responsibility for the safety of your family, tenants, or children in your care.” Here are 4 ways to take action:
- Find out if you have lead in your home. To find a certified professional, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323), or contact Georgia the Department of Natural Resources.
- Contact your local health department for information on reducing the possibility of lead exposure in your community.
- You can protect your family during repair, renovation and painting through lead-safe work practices such as containing dust inside the work area, using dust-minimizing work methods, and conducting a careful cleanup.
- Only work with contractors, renovators, painters, and window installers certified on these safety practices. To ensure your contractor is certified, ask for his certificate before you begin, check his certification at the EPA website or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).