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Lead Based Paint (LBP)
Background Information
Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. The most likely place to find lead in is in paint. Lead was added to paint as pigment and to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture and corrosion.

Because of its toxicity, paint containing more than 0.06% lead was banned for residential use in 1978 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Generally, the older the paint, the higher the lead content. Paint with significant lead content is still used in industry and by the military. For example, lead paint is sometimes used to paint roadways and parking lots.

LBP in good condition is not dangerous to building occupants and can be maintained in place. LBP poses a threat when it is in poor condition, or when it is disturbed during renovation activities.

LBP Chipping and PeelingHealth Effects
Lead may cause a variety of health effects in children including:
  • Behavioral problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Seizures
  • Death

Children six years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly. Research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:
  • Deteriorating lead-based paint
  • Lead-contaminated dust
  • Lead-contaminated residential soil

Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
  • Difficulties during pregnancy
  • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Nervous disorders

More Information

National Lead Information Center (NLIC)
The NLIC is a great resource for lead information and provides specialists that you can talk to. Here are some ways to contact the NLIC:
  • By phone - call and speak with a specialist Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Eastern time (except Federal holidays) at (800) 424-LEAD [5323].
  • By recorded message - the NLIC telecommunications systems has the capability to receive recorded messages in English and Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 424-LEAD [5323].
  • By fax: (585) 232-3111
  • By mail at:
    422 South Clinton Ave.
    Rochester, NY 14620