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Likelihood of lead based paint in West Hills homes built in 50s and 60s

  • February 11 - West Hills
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Answers (11)

just to be clear here with buyers of newborns in tow and such... I am lead paint certified to deal with some of my listings when it arises and even though I see comments stating opposing facts, Mack is totally right on point here. Its also it is not true that "Most" homes built prior to 78' have lead paint at levels that would raise flags...

a few facts that may help understand the risks of a 1970 house vs.1920...

The great majority of interior lead-based paint was applied before 1930.  By 1940, very little lead pigment was being used for interior residences.

In the 1950s, after the Harvard and Johns Hopkins studies confirmed the hazards of poorly maintained interior house paint, industry worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Standards Association and other public health groups to develop a voluntary national standard that interior paint contain less than 1 percent lead.  Industry adopted this standard in 1955.

Many local Gov. banned lead paint use in interiors as early as 1951, the fed Gov. did not ban its use as we know until the 1970's.

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  • February 20
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Profile picture for sunnyview
The EPA has a slide about percentage of lead paint by decade that might be helpful. it is important to point out that even those statistics are a bit incomplete. Some areas of the country have higher percentages of lead in their paint like those in the South and Northeast so the percentage in individual paint products varies from maker to maker and place to place.

  • February 20
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Scraping paint can reveal lead based paint chips as older layers may have been covered by newer materials.
  • February 20
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Although our original poster seems to have gone away, I'd like to further the discussion a bit.

Tim is spot on about the lead being encapsulated. However, it's not just peeling paint that's a worry - contact points of abrasion, such as sash windows and door jams, turn paint into dust and children get most of their exposure by ingesting and inhaling the dust from floors and window sills.

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/leadpois.htm

You can see "interesting" lead-based paint ads on google images, "dutch boy lead paint ad"

  • February 17
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The Likelihood of lead paint in any home built in that time period is very high. It was a common additive to most house paints from 1978.
  • February 17
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pras, Tim and Cami nailed their answers. I will just add that you should receive a lead-based paint disclosure as part of the transaction process. Talk to your agent about this and about your concerns. Lead paint remediation must be done by professionals, is time-consuming and can be expensive. Encapsulating / sealing the old paint under new layers of lead-free paint is a safe and commonly used solution. Regular examination for peeling areas that need touch-ups and the supervision of your child should prevent any potential problems. You probably would do that anyway with a new addition to the family. Congrats and best of luck!
  • February 12
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Prior to 1978 there is probably going to be lead paint in the house for sure. It was in almost all paint back then. But what people don't understand about lead base paint is that it does not float around the room like disturbed asbestos can and it probably has been encapsulated with other paint that is not lead based if painted over and over in the years after 1978. The problem with lead based paint is if children eat it. That is what caused the uproar in 1978, kids would peal pieces off the wall and eat it. If you don't have pealing and flaking paint and don't have kids that put anything in their mouth because of hunger you probably have little to worry about.

 
  • February 12
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I tell my buyers the following when they are purchasing a home built prior to 1978:

Expect lead based paint to exist in any home built prior to 1978.  Take precautions when sanding any painted surface in the home as you would if you knew with 100% certainty that lead based paint existed.  Providing the painted surfaces are not sanded and the dust inhaled or painted surfaces are not chewed on and consumed you will not have to worry about lead poisoning.  Remedy any peeling or chipping paint inside or outside the home as soon as possible.  If the risk of lead based paint still concerns you, conduct a risk assessment or inspection for the presence of lead based paint or other paint hazards and have the hazards taken care of professionally.

When purchasing a home built prior to 1978 the seller should provide you at the time of submitting a purchase agreement a lead based paint certification and acknowledgement document on which the seller can disclose knowledge of lead based paint hazards.
  • February 12
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Buy a house built in the 1980s.
  • February 11
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Thanks for the response...any particular reason why? I ask because I am in the process of purchasing a home built in 1959 and I'm being extra cautious with a newborn in tow.
  • February 11
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  • February 11
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