Lead based paint was a common in homes built before 1978.
Lead can have significant effects on your health and the health of your family, especially if you have young or old members of your family living in your home.
In children, lead poisoning damages the nervous system and causes developmental and behavioral problems that will affect them all of their lives. In adults, lead poisoning causes health and reproductive problems (pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead).
In homes with lead-based paint, lead can be found on virtually any surface in the home – inside or out, including the soil around the home. Lead enters into the body if it is swallowed or breathed. Lead sources include flaking or peeling lead-based paint and lead dust that is often generated throughout a home when lead-based paint is disturbed during renovation, repair, or painting activities. Lead can also be present in the outdoor soil which can affect children playing outside or create a secondary means for it to enter into the home.
Paint containing lead was banned from consumer use in 1978 though it was used for a few years after the product ban throughout the United States.
In Maricopa County, there are 67 zip codes that are labeled as high risk for lead poisoning by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Lead-based paint is usually not a hazard, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, if it is in good condition or encapsulated (i.e. the lead paint is not flaking or peeling from the surface or the lead paint has been properly covered with non-lead paint to prevent peeling or flaking) and as long as it is not on an impact or friction surface, like a window or a door for example.
A home can be tested either through a lead-based paint inspection which will identify if and where lead-based paint is located in the home or through a lead-based risk assessment that will identify any lead hazards in the home and what actions need to be addressed to mitigate the hazard. Do-it-yourself test kits are available at local home improvement stores but may or may not correctly identify the presence of lead paint in the home.