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Why should I test my home for lead?

If you have children, the presence of lead in your home can have serious long-term health and behavioral consequences for them. Children under the age of 6 are particularly vulnerable to lead hazards. Lead found in paint, dust, and soil can harm children as it enters their bodies when they put their fingers, toys, or even paint chips and dust into their mouths. Additionally, lead can also pose risks to pregnant women and their developing fetuses.

It is important to consider testing for lead if there are children in your home and if any of the following conditions apply:

1. Your house was constructed before 1978.

2. Your house is near a freeway or busy roadway where leaded gasoline and its exhaust may have contaminated the soil with lead.

If your house was built before 1978, it is crucial to conduct lead testing if:

1. Your home has peeling or chipping paint.

2. Your home has exposed soil in the yard where children play.

3. You have plans to repaint, remodel, or renovate the house.

4. A child residing in the house has undergone a blood lead test that indicates exposure to lead.

5. Your house was built before 1950, as such homes often contain lead-based paint.

If you are in the process of buying or renting a home, it is important to be aware of the following:

Federal laws mandate that sellers provide you with an informational pamphlet and disclose any known lead hazards in the home. However, these laws do not require landlords to permit renters to inspect for lead. Home buyers are granted a 10-day period to inspect for lead. For information and materials regarding real estate disclosure laws and the EPA pamphlet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home," please contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.

Source: California Department of Public Health

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