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What do you report about lead paint?


Tom Raymond
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My clients asked yesterday if the paint on the second floor trim was lead paint. They have two children under 3, one of which has an elevated lead level already, and they are aware of the lead paint scenario I went through with my son. I am qualified to respond to their concerns through personal experience and professional certification.

I am considering including the following in my report.

Painted Interior Trim

All of the wood trim on the second floor is painted. While I did not perform any specific testing to identify lead paint, there is some cracking that exhibits characteristics typical of lead paint. With young children in the home it is particularly important to understand the potential hazards related to lead paint and how to properly handle the material. Information regarding lead paint is available on the EPA website, and the Erie County Dept. of Health website. If you find it difficult to locate this information or have specific questions regarding dealing with lead paint, feel free to contact me. As a parent that has dealt with a lead hazard clean up, and as a Certified Lead Hazard Remodeler, I may be able to provide further assistance.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

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My clients asked yesterday if the paint on the second floor trim was lead paint. They have two children under 3, one of which has an elevated lead level already, and they are aware of the lead paint scenario I went through with my son. I am qualified to respond to their concerns through personal experience and professional certification.

I am considering including the following in my report.

Painted Interior Trim

All of the wood trim on the second floor is painted. While I did not perform any specific testing to identify lead paint, there is some cracking that exhibits characteristics typical of lead paint. With young children in the home it is particularly important to understand the potential hazards related to lead paint and how to properly handle the material. Information regarding lead paint is available on the EPA website, and the Erie County Dept. of Health website. If you find it difficult to locate this information or have specific questions regarding dealing with lead paint, feel free to contact me. As a parent that has dealt with a lead hazard clean up, and as a Certified Lead Hazard Remodeler, I may be able to provide further assistance.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

I think it's perfect until the last word. It sounds like you're soliciting repair work. How about ". . . I may be able to provide further advice. Please feel free to call me anytime with questions about the risks associated with lead paint."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Much of my work was in old houses. I had a fair number of yuppie parents ask me about lead paint. I told 'em, "You can assume lead paint everywhere -- inside and outside, and even in the dirt outside. Just don't let the kids eat it."

Once, a high-functioning but low-common-sense daddy asked me, "How do I do that?"

To which I replied, "The same way you'll keep 'em from eating dogshit."

I must've used that a hundred times. I had the RE agents repeating it.

It ain't for everybody, but it worked for me,

WJ

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Thank you Jim. I had exactly the same feeling about it sounding like a solicitation. That's why I posted it here. I was completely stumped as to how to fix it, until now. It was a valid concern raised durring the inspection, and I felt I should report it. When it came up the RE started in with the CYA disclosure form crap. I think the topic deserves more attention then that.

Walter, coming from anybody else I would have thought the entire post to be BS, and chalked up the eating paint comment as folklore. Coming from you I believe every word, and I know you know better.

Tom

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I'm hoping WJ's comments are a joke. As Tom probably knows, it's rarely about kids eating paint, it's about the paint dust getting onto what ends up in their mouth. Here's some tips I've offered to my clients for over two decades:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advic ... risk.shtml

Well, it is sort of a joke, but it's a joke meant to be taken seriously, and remembered. The mention of eating dogshit will, I think, stick in a person's mind better than some bureaucrat-written gobbledegook.

Frankly, I couldn't think of a better way to inform a poorly-focused daddy that the best way to keep lead out of his kids' bloodstreams is to be vigilant when his kids and lead share some space. Jeez, if a daddy can't keep his kids from eating paint, there's not much I or anybody else could do for him.

Knowledgeable old-house mavens have known about the lead threat since the late 70s - early 80s -- or sooner. And while it might be good to know when and why paint was invented, and when and why lead became part of paint, etc., I think no naive homeowner would benefit much from knowing the history of paint. What he needs to know is that he needs to keep his kids' hands off paint chips and dust, and out of their mouths.

Reducing lead risk in my own special way, since 1984,

WJ

PS: Bill, your link to the National Safety Council is dead.

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My clients asked yesterday if the paint on the second floor trim was lead paint. They have two children under 3, one of which has an elevated lead level already, and they are aware of the lead paint scenario I went through with my son. I am qualified to respond to their concerns through personal experience and professional certification.

I am considering including the following in my report.

Painted Interior Trim

All of the wood trim on the second floor is painted. While I did not perform any specific testing to identify lead paint, there is some cracking that exhibits characteristics typical of lead paint. With young children in the home it is particularly important to understand the potential hazards related to lead paint and how to properly handle the material. Information regarding lead paint is available on the EPA website, and the Erie County Dept. of Health website. If you find it difficult to locate this information or have specific questions regarding dealing with lead paint, feel free to contact me. As a parent that has dealt with a lead hazard clean up, and as a Certified Lead Hazard Remodeler, I may be able to provide further assistance.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

I would not include that comment, Tom. As a former MA-licensed lead paint inspector (XRF), I now say "if you want to find out if that is lead paint or not, hire a licensed (or certified) lead paint inspector (who uses XRF technology). They can tell you where it is (and where it isn't)."

Then I point them to MA governmental website link in regards to lead paint. End of story. Many times while using XRF, I found that paint from long ago did not have lead in it.

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Yeah,

Old paint flakes off and gets ground into dust; then kids get the yard dirt on their hands and, as kids do, they're always sticking their hands in their mouths and that's how they ingest it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

I've seen this at the other end of the age spectrum too. I suppose it is not as much of a threat there though.[:-crazy]

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I'm hoping WJ's comments are a joke. As Tom probably knows, it's rarely about kids eating paint, it's about the paint dust getting onto what ends up in their mouth. Here's some tips I've offered to my clients for over two decades:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advic ... risk.shtml

Well, it is sort of a joke, but it's a joke meant to be taken seriously, and remembered. The mention of eating dogshit will, I think, stick in a person's mind better than some bureaucrat-written gobbledegook.

Frankly, I couldn't think of a better way to inform a poorly-focused daddy that the best way to keep lead out of his kids' bloodstreams is to be vigilant when his kids and lead share some space. Jeez, if a daddy can't keep his kids from eating paint, there's not much I or anybody else could do for him.

Knowledgeable old-house mavens have known about the lead threat since the late 70s - early 80s -- or sooner. And while it might be good to know when and why paint was invented, and when and why lead became part of paint, etc., I think no naive homeowner would benefit much from knowing the history of paint. What he needs to know is that he needs to keep his kids' hands off paint chips and dust, and out of their mouths.

Reducing lead risk in my own special way, since 1984,

WJ

PS: Bill, your link to the National Safety Council is dead.

Son of Swamp:

Your "dog shit" story is a funny one, but could put people in harms way. If a typical lead poisoning incident were as simple as looking for something obvious, then we would not be talking about it 40 years after lead paint was taken off the residential market.

The reality of lead poisoning incidents is that most of them are caused by kids crawling on a floor with invisible amounts of lead paint dust and then sucking their thumbs. Most parents, contractors, and realtors aren't aware just how sensitive kids are and that millionths of grams of the stuff can be that hazardous.

If you've had children in the last 10 years, then you probably know that parents get hammered with information at the obstetricians and pediatricians office about keeping their kids away from the obvious hazards -- peeling paint. In the lead inspection world, we find that irresponsible parenting doesn't usually cause lead poisoning, old buildings do. The trouble is that folks don't know what to look for, because in most instances the hazards are not visible -- even if they know the history of lead paint told by us old-house mavens.

Do us all a favor and find another way to explain the hazards of lead paint, because that story might actually get somebody hurt.

Kent Ackley

5 year lead inspector in RI

(where 80% of the homes are old enough to contain lead paint)

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Originally posted by k3ackley

Son of Swamp:

Your "dog shit" story is a funny one, but could put people in harms way. If a typical lead poisoning incident were as simple as looking for something obvious, then we would not be talking about it 40 years after lead paint was taken off the residential market.

Uh-huh. I'm all worried down with the blues, fearing that home inspectors here on the TIJ will read my little nugget and unleash a plague of lead poisoning on the unwitting public.

The reality of lead poisoning incidents is that most of them are caused by kids crawling on a floor with invisible amounts of lead paint dust and then sucking their thumbs. Most parents, contractors, and realtors aren't aware just how sensitive kids are and that millionths of grams of the stuff can be that hazardous.

Astounding. Got any reputable sources for that? "Most incidents" are cause by thumbsuckers? "Millionths of grams" is hazardous? How many millionths?

If you've had children in the last 10 years, then you probably know that parents get hammered with information at the obstetricians and pediatricians office about keeping their kids away from the obvious hazards -- peeling paint.

I've interacted with many a physician, including some who know this subject well. I'm unaware of any who "hammer" their patients. Can you name some?

In the lead inspection world, we find that irresponsible parenting doesn't usually cause lead poisoning, old buildings do.

Really? How's that happen? Parents, caregivers, vigilance, etc. can't keep kids off the lead dust, but the old (inanimate) buildings can poison children all by themselves? Can you cite some sources that'll back up your statement?

The trouble is that folks don't know what to look for, because in most instances the hazards are not visible -- even if they know the history of lead paint told by us old-house mavens.

Do us all a favor and find another way to explain the hazards of lead paint, because that story might actually get somebody hurt.

Just so you'll know, I was an early explainer. If you were studying up on lead paint hazards in the mid-80s, it's likely that you were reading some of my stuff. I'm not terribly worried about the population here at TIJ reading my day-old post and triggering a worldwide panic about the lead paint menace.

5 year lead inspector in RI

(where 80% of the homes are old enough to contain lead paint)

5 whole years warning people about lead? Most folks here are about 20 years ahead of you. Me, I'm even a little further along.

Let me gently offer this from a 1+-year-old piece from the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/busin ... ref=slogin

Good luck with those millionths of grams,

WJ

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40 years?

Um, not to be a knit-picker, and I know I'm lousy at numbers, but I make it just about 31 years since lead paint manufacture was banned and 29 years since the last cans of lead paint had to be off the shelves of stores.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike:

Your math is sound, but the lead content of paint actually varied over time. Lead based paint (LBP) was made illegal for residential use as of January 1, 1978. In anticipation of that change, the paint manufacturers started phasing lead out of paint as early as the 1940’s.

With the introduction of latex paint in the late 50s, most LBPs of that time were less concentrated and typically intended for exterior use. A recent national survey of older homes found that only 13% of homes constructed in the 1960-1978 time period actually contained detectable LBP (using XRF measures). That means that most homes built during that time are not likely to contain it (though you never know for sure until it’s been tested).

So, you are absolutely right. It has been 31 years since LBP was outlawed for home use. I stand corrected!

Kent

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp[/i]

Originally posted by k3ackley

Son of Swamp:

The reality of lead poisoning incidents is that most of them are caused by kids crawling on a floor with invisible amounts of lead paint dust and then sucking their thumbs. Most parents, contractors, and realtors aren't aware just how sensitive kids are and that millionths of grams of the stuff can be that hazardous.

Astounding. "Most incidents" are cause by thumbsuckers? Got any reputable sources for that?

Sure do. Here’s a few for starters.

"Trace Substances in Environmental Health II" Adapted from Exterior Surface Dust Lead, Interior House Dust Lead,and Child hood Lead Exposure in an Urban Environment" Bornschein et al. Referenced in the EPA Risk Assessor Initial book, and the Inspector book just prior to the dust sampling.

The study from the DPE dated May of 1997 and the document is EPA

747-R-96-007 "Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities: Environmental Field Sampling Study, Volume 1: Technical Report

If you need more, let me know because there is about 30 years worth of research just like this.

Of course when you take a careful look at these articles they do start to sound like “bureaucrat-written gobbledegookâ€

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PPS: Thanks, for being gentle with me. I'd hate to meet you when you are slightly aggravated!

Kent

Well, thanks back atcha. I don't aggravate all that easily. I'm just one of those old-school guys who thinks that human caring and vigilance are superior to farming out the child care to vendors. I guess I've been "poisoned" by mold hustlers, and other such snake-oil salesfolk.

Having published a goodly number of housey articles -- some meant to be humorous and some meant to be sufficiently annoying as to induce action -- I've run up against my share of folks who think I need to Get Right With Radon, Fight the Fungi, Warn the World about Asbestos, and Lead the Charge Against Lead. When one writes for publication, one finds that everybody wants to get into the act. I once had a guy call me and scream at me because of my stance on waterproofing decks. Y'see, I said it was unnecessary and he was in the deck-waterproofing business.

Just so you'll know, I've alerted more than a few inattentive parents to threats including but not limited to:

*A toddler in a restaurant trying to stick a fork into a receptacle.

*A kid playing in a bag of lime.

*Unsupervised kids swinging baseball bats around other kids.

*Standing a little boy on home plate in a batting cage, and letting the 70mph machine fire the ball right into the "equipment."

When I moved into my early-20th-Century neighborhood (lots of renovation/restoration at the time), a neighbor kid ended up just shy of needing chelation for a lead overdose. I told that kid's mama time and again how to isolate chips and dust, keep the kid's hands clean, etc., but the mama was too busy with other stuff.

So, I decided to fight the battle against adult-caregiver negligence mostly via memorable catch-phrases.

In closing, let me gently offer one such catchphrase, regarding asbestos: "It ain't Kryptonite. Just walking up to it won't hurt you."

Have a lovely day,

WJ

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

I'm just one of those old-school guys who thinks that human caring and vigilance are superior to farming out the child care to vendors. I guess I've been "poisoned" by mold hustlers, and other such snake-oil salesfolk.

Now WJ, you don’t have to be “old schoolâ€

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My clients asked yesterday if the paint on the second floor trim was lead paint. They have two children under 3, one of which has an elevated lead level already, and they are aware of the lead paint scenario I went through with my son. I am qualified to respond to their concerns through personal experience and professional certification.

I am considering including the following in my report.

Painted Interior Trim

All of the wood trim on the second floor is painted. While I did not perform any specific testing to identify lead paint, there is some cracking that exhibits characteristics typical of lead paint. With young children in the home it is particularly important to understand the potential hazards related to lead paint and how to properly handle the material. Information regarding lead paint is available on the EPA website, and the Erie County Dept. of Health website. If you find it difficult to locate this information or have specific questions regarding dealing with lead paint, feel free to contact me. As a parent that has dealt with a lead hazard clean up, and as a Certified Lead Hazard Remodeler, I may be able to provide further assistance.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

I would not include that comment, Tom. As a former MA-licensed lead paint inspector (XRF), I now say "if you want to find out if that is lead paint or not, hire a licensed (or certified) lead paint inspector (who uses XRF technology). They can tell you where it is (and where it isn't)."

Then I point them to MA governmental website link in regards to lead paint. End of story. Many times while using XRF, I found that paint from long ago did not have lead in it.

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Tom,

Out of curiosity, are you referring to the Erie County Dept of Health PA or Erie County Dept of Health NY website.

Thank you.

My clients asked yesterday if the paint on the second floor trim was lead paint. They have two children under 3, one of which has an elevated lead level already, and they are aware of the lead paint scenario I went through with my son. I am qualified to respond to their concerns through personal experience and professional certification.

I am considering including the following in my report.

Painted Interior Trim

All of the wood trim on the second floor is painted. While I did not perform any specific testing to identify lead paint, there is some cracking that exhibits characteristics typical of lead paint. With young children in the home it is particularly important to understand the potential hazards related to lead paint and how to properly handle the material. Information regarding lead paint is available on the EPA website, and the Erie County Dept. of Health website. If you find it difficult to locate this information or have specific questions regarding dealing with lead paint, feel free to contact me. As a parent that has dealt with a lead hazard clean up, and as a Certified Lead Hazard Remodeler, I may be able to provide further assistance.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

I would not include that comment, Tom. As a former MA-licensed lead paint inspector (XRF), I now say "if you want to find out if that is lead paint or not, hire a licensed (or certified) lead paint inspector (who uses XRF technology). They can tell you where it is (and where it isn't)."

Then I point them to MA governmental website link in regards to lead paint. End of story. Many times while using XRF, I found that paint from long ago did not have lead in it.

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