1. What is lead paint?
  2. Dangers of lead paint
  3. Taking care of lead paint
  4. Sources

1. What is lead paint?

More than 80 percent of homes built before 1978 contain lead paint., says the US EPA. Most obviously, lead paint is a paint in which contains lead. Used as a white pigment, which does not add color rather protects paint from UV radiation.

2. Dangers of lead paint

Lead causes nervous system damage, hearing loss, stunted growth, reduced IQ, and delayed development. It can cause kidney damage.
Wikipedia, "Lead Paint".

Although lead poisoning is most harmful towards children (with their undeveloped physicality), lead paint can also effect adults.

Effect in children:

Effect in adults:

3. Taking care of lead paint

A method of taking care of lead paint is enclosure. This involves covering up the surface with new surface. Effective methods of 'covering up' include: Putting up drywall or by re-sealing windowsills with aluminum or vinyl. Enclosure is an easier, effective method of taking care of lead paint.

Another method is encapsulation.

Encapsulation is a technique that bonds materials to the existing painted surface; it's more than just a coat of paint, in that the encapsulant is bonded to the lead paint. It is important to follow product instructions exactly to be sure that a strong, long lasting bond is created.
"What Home Owners Need to Know About Removing Lead-Based Paint", from NY Department of Health.

Sometimes it is easier to replace the window/door (if that is what is contaminated) than attempting to remove the lead paint.

4. Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_paint
http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5054.html
http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/lead/leadbroc.htm
http://www.coatings.org.uk/default.asp?edit_id=305&nav=293&branch=5
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tvprograms/asktoh/qaarticle/0,16588,214400,00.html

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