This article gives general information about lead-based paint, where it is found, and how it is dangerous. To obtain information about New York State regulations, how they affect you as a landlord, and what your responsibilities are, visit the Office of the Attorney General website at:www.oag.state.ny.us
Where is lead paint found?
Most homes built before 1960 contain leaded paint. Some homes built as recently as 1978 may also contain lead paint. This paint could be on window frames, walls, the exterior of a house or on other surfaces. Tiny pieces of peeling or chipping lead paint are dangerous if eaten by children. Lead paint in good condition is not usually a problem, except in places where painted surfaces rub against each other. Lead dust can be created when you open and close a window or door. Fumes from lead paint may be toxic as well, so never burn
Why is lead harmful?
Lead can harm anyone who swallows or breathes it. A pregnant woman can pass lead
through her blood to her unborn baby. Lead is a special danger for children under six years of age, since it has been known to cause learning and behavioral disabilities and even brain damage.
How can lead poisoning be prevented?
Maintain older buildings to keep them in good condition. Replace old windows whenever possible. Use vacancies as an opportunity to renovate. Be cautious when conducting a
renovation project. Those methods that create less dust are generally safer. Other considerations should include worker safety, convenience, hazardous waste generation, and cost, (see EPA -Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home).
If you are abating lead-based paint hazards and you hire a contractor, that contractor must be EPA certified.
Lead in Water
Lead inside your household plumbing can leach into your drinking water. If you have copper pipes, lead solder was probably used to join them. Boiling of water will NOT reduce the amount of lead. Call the Health Department for a list of laboratories certified to test your water. If you are not sure if your water contains lead: • Do not drink, cook or make baby formula or juice with water from the HOT tap. Hot water is more likely to pick up lead from the solder. • Use only cold water for drinking and cooking. If the faucet hasn’t been used for more than six hours, run the water until steady cold before using.
*If the service connection from the main is made of lead pipe, these measures may not help.
Lead in Dust and Dirt
In older homes, lead is often found in house dust and in the ground around the house. Lead can be tracked into the home on shoes, by pets or by blowing in through open windows and doors. Children crawling or playing on the floor or in the yard can ingest lead dust when they put toys and hands into their mouths.
*Article taken from Westchester County Department of Health web site. For more information contact them at (914) 813- 5240 or visit their site at: http://www.westchestergov.com