Lead-based paint can be found on any painted surface within a homes interior. Lead paint was used on many exterior surfaces too. Lead was put into paint as a pigment, speed up the drying time, and to make it more durable, and resistant to moisture and mold growth.
Children exposed to lead paint on surfaces, paint chips, lead dust, lead in soils and contaminated drinking water can become lead poisoned. Lead poisoning can have numerous detrimental and sometimes devastating effects on a child. Children are exposed to lead during their normal day to day activities such as when they are crawling on floors, and during normal hand to mouth activity. Sometimes children mouth surfaces such as plush toys and window sills absorbing lead from those surfaces.
It is important to keep painted surfaces in good condition and to not disturb lead paint when conducting renovations within your home. Presume any painted surface is coated with lead paint and you should always test painted surfaces before you disturb them.
Many layers of paint
Many older homes can be coated with several layers of paint. Lead-based paint can be found on any of the older layers and still poses a health risk to you.
Areas exposed to weathering such as around windows and window sills often contain lead paint. These surfaces then begin to chip or flake off paint chips which can become accessible to a child.
Door saddles and other areas around interior and exterior doors can become damaged from wear and tear, as well as from weathering too. These paint chips and dust are then brought into and distributed into the home. Often ground into dust on the floors and in the carpeting where it becomes accessible to a crawling infant.
Stair components, such as stair risers, treads, and stair stringers are constantly subjected to friction from foot traffic. The dust and chips are then picked up on feet and distributed around the home.
Flaking paint on surfaces such as this steam pipe can result in paint chips falling onto the floors.
Paint chips and dust
Paint chips fall off surfaces then get ground up into dust and hide in the fibers of carpeting or on other floor surfaces.