Is your home safe from lead contamination?
If you own, or are considering buying a home or other property built before 1978, there is a good chance that the building may contain hidden dangers that can cause great harm to the health and well being of you and especially your children.
These dangers are caused by the presence of lead. Lead poisoning can cause developmental problems in children including, lower IQ, behavioral problems, language delay, anemia, damage to the nervous system and a host of other problems. High lead levels in adults can result in high blood pressure, headaches, memory problems, kidney damage, irritability, difficulty sleeping, nerve disorders, muscle or joint pain and damage to the reproductive system.
There are many options when dealing with lead in a home. The presence of lead paint in a home you are considering purchasing does not have to be a deal breaker. A Lead Paint Inspection can be very enlightening and can ease your concern about Lead Based Paint (LBP), providing you with the knowledge to keep your families safe.
Lead based paint banned by U.S. Government
In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead based paint. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. The government considers this so serious that the Massachusetts Lead Law says you must remove a lead hazard if a child under the age of six is living in your home.
The law applies to all properties built before 1978 where a child is present, including single-family homes. If a child under the age of six lives in your home or in property you lease, you must comply with the law by removing a lead hazard within the first 30 to 90 days.
The owner of any property built prior to 1978, where a child under 6 resides, under Massachusetts law is strictly liable for any health issues caused by lead based paint for the residents of their property. Massachusetts law requires you to have a lead paint inspection and to bring that property into compliance within the lead paint law. If your property is in compliance and maintains compliance you are relieved from strict liability.
We test to determine the presence of lead paint
Comprehensive Inspection – When Prior Environmental does a comprehensive inspection, we thoroughly test the property and give a detailed report identifying the location of the lead paint and the type of hazard it presents. This report can be used as a road map for abating lead based paint.
Risk Assessments (“RA”) – Prior Environmental is certified to perform lead risk assessments. An RA is defined as an assessment of a dwelling to check for the presence of lead based paint (LPB) hazards. It includes a visual assessment of paint debris in the dust and soil. In essence, the risk assessor tests to see whether the house contains defective paint and or excessive levels of lead based paint dust on components such as floors, window sills, or in soil.
RRP Inspections and Clearance – An RRP inspection may be requested as part of pre-renovation. This is a detailed report of the location of lead based paint for a specific renovation requirement. We will only inspect the painted surfaces that will be disturbed for a specific project or projects If the paint tests negative, the RRP rule will not apply. This can be requested by either the home owner or the contractor preforming the work.
Clearance Testing – Clearance Testing confirms whether the contractor or painter took all necessary precautions to contain the work area, and clean it. The inspector will take dust wipe samples to determine if a lead hazard exists.
Pre-renovation or Abatement Specifications – We will review the lead paint inspection report with any potential rehabilitation scope of work and draft technical specifications on how to best manage, repair or abate any lead based paint in the most practical and cost effective manner. We can also draft operations and maintenance plans.
Paula Prior is a Master Lead Paint Inspector/Risk Assessor providing Lead Inspections on Cape Cod and throughout Massachusetts.