The past few days, lead has been in the news. Today’s article by David Bruce in the Erie Times-News discussed the rise in lead poisoning. “The number of lead-poisoning cases among Erie County children has quadrupled in 2011,” Bruce wrote. “One hundred and seven cases have been reported to the Erie County Department of Health through Sept. 30, compared with 25 cases during the same period in 2010.”
Saturday in House to Home, Dwight Barnett reported some scary stats about our homes:
“According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homes built before 1940 have an 86 percent chance of containing it (lead). Homes built between 1940 and 1959 have a 66 percent chance, and those built between 1960 and 1978 have a 25 percent chance.”
Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors (email@example.com.)
I raised my kids in an old house, and I wasn’t concerned about them eating paint, but I was worried because we did a lot of remodeling — that disturbs the walls, lead paint and makes lead dust. Before you tackle a home improvement project in an old house, get a lead test kit — you can find them at Walmart. Or go to epa.gov for more information. These kits are $10 to $20, and worth every penny.
There are solutions to taking care of lead and remodeling. You may need to move your kids out of the house while you’re in a tearing out phase. It’s an adventure, and if you make it fun, your kids will enjoy it too.