JRV Home Inspection Services Lead Information
What Connecticut CT Home Buyers Should Know Before Hiring a Certified Lead Inspector
Please note the information on this page is to inform home buyers on lead paint risks. JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC does not conduct lead paint inspections.
Lead poisoning, especially in young children, is a serious health issue in Connecticut and throughout the United States. Lead poisoning affects people from every region, race and socioeconomic background. It causes irreparable damage to the body and is most debilitating to very young children. Lead based paint is the most common source of lead poisoning. It has been used extensively for decades and was the paint of choice because of its durability. All lead-based paints were banned from residential use in 1978.
The following information provides a brief overview of lead and lead poisoning. Use the lead links at the bottom of the page to obtain more in-depth information. We strongly recommend the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Lead Poisoning Prevention Program web site. This site contains a wealth of excellent information on lead risks, lead poisoning and prevention.
News release (October 22, 2007) from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Home Lead Test Kits Unreliable Full story
Checking Your Home and Family for Lead
Get your children and home tested if you suspect your home has high levels of lead. Most houses built prior to 1978 are likely to contained lead-based paint. Be sure to have your children screened for lead poisoning at 1 and 2 years of age.
- Consult your doctor for advice on testing your children. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead. Blood tests are important for Children at ages 1 and 2, and any child up to age 6 that has not been tested. Your doctor can explain what the test results mean and if more testing will be needed.
- Children covered under Medicaid (HUSKY A) must be screened at age 1 and 2, per federal law.
You can get your home checked in one of two ways, or both:
1. A paint inspection will tell you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home.
2. A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust).
- Have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure the work is done safely, reliably, and effectively. Contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health for a list of approved contractors. You may also obtain the information from the DPH web site.
- Trained professionals use a range of methods when checking your home, including:
- Visual inspection of paint condition and location.
- A portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine.
- Lab tests of paint samples.
- Surface dust tests.
Note: Do not use home test kits for lead. Studies suggest that they are not always accurate. Consumers should not rely on these tests before doing renovations or to assure safety.
Lead Facts … What you should know about lead poisoning.
- Lead Paint was banned in U.S. residential paint in 1978. (It was banned in France and many other countries prior to 1920.)
- Three-quarters of the nation’s housing contain lead paint.
- Lead poisoning is a serious disease. Children under six are most at risk. Children from every region, race, and socioeconomic level are at risk
- Lead poisoning causes learning and developmental disabilities.
- There are usually no symptoms. Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead in their blood.
- Lead poisoning is preventable. Most lead poisoning happens at home. The primary cause is tiny particles of lead dust from deteriorated paint or from painted surfaces disturbed during remodeling, repair or renovation.
- Lead dust is invisible, so tiny in fact that it passes through most masks & filters.
- Lead poisoning affects adults as well as kids.
The Problem with Lead Paint
Lead is a powerful neurotoxin that hurts almost all body organs, particularly the kidneys, red blood cells, and central nervous system. In young children, lead retards the development of the central nervous system and brain.
Even tiny amounts can cause reduced IQ, reading and learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and behavioral problems. As a result, childhood lead poisoning is associated with lower educational achievement, higher rates of high school dropout and increased behavioral problems. In the long run, children who are lead poisoned may be less likely to be positive contributors to our communities. It is estimated that lead poisoning has tripled the number of children needing special education.
Most children are poisoned by lead-based paint in their home
Today, most children are poisoned by ingesting leaded household dust. This dust is created when lead paint deteriorates from age, exposure to the elements, from water damage, friction — such as the opening of windows or the rubbing of a tight door — or during home renovation. Many homeowners are not aware of the hazards of lead and unknowingly poison their own children.
As a rule, the older the building, the more likely it is that it has lead. According to HUD:
- 90% of pre-1940 buildings have lead.
- 80% of pre-1960 and,
- 62% of pre-1978 buildings have lead.
The National Lead Information Center (NLIC) this is an EPA sponsored information clearinghouse. 800-424-LEAD (5323)
[Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Centers for Disease Control, National Conference of State Legislators, Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Connecticut Department of Public Health.]
Fact Sheet: Lead & Drinking Water
In June of 1986, amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act signed by President Reagan required the use of lead-free pipe, solder and flux in the installation or repair of plumbing systems connected to public water systems.
According to the EPA, chances of having lead in your drinking water are likely to be high if:
- Your home has faucets/fittings made of brass which contain some lead, or
- Your home or water system has lead pipes, or
- Your home has copper pipes with lead solder, AND …
- The home is less than 5 years old, or
- You have naturally soft water, or
- Water often sits in the pipes for several hours.
To minimize lead in drinking water you should:
- Flush your pipes. Don’t use water that has been sitting over six hours.
- Use only water thoroughly flushed from the cold water tap.
- Flush until the water becomes cold (this can take 2 minutes or longer).
- Fill containers from flushed tap and save in a refrigerator for later use.
- Use only cold water for drinking, and especially for making baby formula.
- Never cook with or consume water from the hot-water tap. (Hot water dissolves lead more easily and is therefore more likely to contain higher levels of lead.)
- Have your water tested by a competent lab approved by EPA or your state. (Your local Department of health should be able to tell you which labs are qualified.)
NOTES: Scientific data indicates that the NEWER the home, the GREATER THE RISK of lead contamination from plumbing.
Lead levels decrease as a building ages. As time passes, mineral deposits form a coating on the inside of the pipes (if the water isn’t corrosive). This coating insulates water from the solder. You can get more information from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791