Sunday, September 30, 2007

There's More to Fear than Toys

The media has been creating a lot of scared parents as of late with the various recalls on toys made in China. Seems the Q & A divisions of these companies in China have been dropping the ball and contaminating the toys with lead paint. But toys, in general, could be the least of parental concern when it comes to lead poisoning.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:


  • deteriorating lead-based paint

  • lead contaminated dust

  • lead contaminated residential soil
The issue of Lead Paint is nothing new to Minneapolis real estate agents. Since 1978, the United States government has banned the use of lead paint. This can be a major concern with older homes in Minneapolis, that might still have the original paint under years of remodeling. Some of the areas that lead paint is most easily accessible in an older home are:


  • Windows and window sills

  • Doors and door frames

  • Stairs, railings, and banisters

  • Porches and fences
If you are thinking of buying a home in the Twin Cities that was built prior to 1978, than you should be given a copy of the EPA brochure "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" or you can view a copy online. Reading the pamphlet and understanding the cause and effect of lead, can help prevent ingestion by children or yourself. The EPA provides a checklist on how to check and determine if you have lead based paint in your home.

It is also required that you sign a Lead Based Paint Disclosure when buying or selling a home built before 1978. A sample disclosure form is available on the EPA website. If your real estate agent fails to mention this requirement, get a new agent.

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