Doctor child safety iStock 499482934Whether they're looking to live in a beautiful, historic old home, or simply find an older rental that meets their budget, many families with younger children end up living in homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned in homes in the United States. Recently, a concerned parent wrote to a news column in The Oklahoman, who lives with children in an older home built before lead paint was banned.

Drs. Eve Glazier and Elizabeth Ko answered the reader's question. According to Glazier and Ko, homes built before 1984 are 84% likely to have lead paint. With homes built between 1940 and 1959, the odds lower slightly to 69%, and between 1960 and 1977, the odds are 24%.

The doctors write that lead paint is a health risk to children under six and pregnant women, with the following health risks for all household members:

•    Children can experience lowered IQ, hyperactive behavior, hearing difficulties, and reduced growth.

•    Expectant mothers could give birth to smaller babies, as fetal growth can be impaired, and the unborn child has certain increased health risks.

•    Adults can also have problems with damage to various organs, nerves, and their blood.

Fortunately, they also note that there are things you can do to assure safety for young children in homes with lead paint, such as:

•    Make sure the paint in the house isn't chipping or starting to crumble. When paint remains in good condition on walls, it's very rarely a safety risk.

•    If you see lead paint in bad condition, vacuum and sweep any crumbling paint immediately to prevent children from eating it. CAUTION: You cannot merely vacuum or sweep, it must be done with special equipment to minimize the risk of lead and lead dust from being a factor. Consider hiring a certified company to help you safely remove or paint over the lead paint or use a Lead Paint Treatment such as ECOBOND® - Lead Defender® which seals and treats the lead and lead dust in lead-based paint.

•    If your home tests positive for lead paint, get your children's blood levels checked regularly following federal guidelines.

If you live in an older home that might have lead paint on the walls, be aware of the risks, but know that following these safety procedures will help keep your family safe.

We all know lead paint is bad. It was hugely popular for a while, the same way asbestos was the leading insulation material for a decade or so, but then we learned that lead is a dangerous heavy metal. Unfortunately, while we stopped painting our houses and schools with several coats of the stuff, we still have an unbelievable number of homes and apartments that still have their old, lead-based coats.

Why? Mostly because removing lead paint is expensive. Because, as anyone who's ever removed paint knows, it gets everywhere without the proper precautions. And if the dust from lead paint removal gets loose, you're doing more than putting an unsightly coating on your neighbor's lawn; you're creating a situation where you're liable for any damage that lead paint could do.

Lead Paint Liability is Broader Than Most People Realize

Lots of people think of their lead paint as their problem, but they don't often understand the scope of their responsibility if they try to remove it.

Say, for example, that your house had lead paint on its exterior. That's almost unheard of these days, but let's say it happened. You know lead paint dust is where the real threat is, because it gets in your eyes, and into your lungs, where your body absorbs the heavy metals. So, you put on all the necessary safety gear, pick up your power sander, and start grinding that paint right off. You're protected, so there are no problems, right?

Well, if that lead dust affects anyone, you could potentially be liable for it. If someone next door, or even on the next street over, inhales that dust, it's your fault. If the lead gets into the local water table, makes someone's dog sick, or must be cleaned up by a third-party, then that's all on you.

That's why it's so important to contact a provider of professional services and make sure your lead paint is dealt with appropriately because it has the potential to affect more than just you and your home.

ECOBOND® is the nation’s leader in developing and distributing products that improve the protection of human health and safety from the hazards of lead in the home, workplace, and the environment. With over 15 years in patented and proven success, the ECOBOND® family of products have been extensively used in successfully treating lead hazards in over 11,000,000 tons of material while serving over 100,000 customers in the United States and Internationally.

To learn more visit, view our lead paint treatment video or download our free Industry Report: