If tests conducted  by the  risk assessor or
inspector I hire show that the home I  plan to
buy contains lead-based paint, is the seller
required to remove  it?
No  The seller does not have to  remove any
lead-based paint hazards found during  testing.
With the test  results, however, you can  ask the
seller to hire  a certified professional  to fix any
hazardous lead-based paint conditions, or lower
the  sale  price so  you  can hire  a certified
professional To do this, the sales contract must
include a clause that  permits further negotiations
based on the lead test results  Make sure  all lead-
related work  is  done  by  a  certified lead

How can I make sure the lead professional  I
hire is certified?
Federal law requires  all lead professionals to net
only be trained, but certified as well. Contact you'
state or tribal lead poisoning prevention program
for more information. Call 1-800-424-LEAD for
a list of contacts in your area.

Where can I get more information about lead-
based paint and lead hazards?
Call the National Lead Information  Center at
1-800-424-LEAD for more information on lead or
to speak to a lead specialist Or visit our Web site
at www.epa.gov/lead.
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                                                                    FPA ,'4
                                                                           ••••>•' ,..'. '
                        Buying A Home?
                        Here's What
                        You Need To
                        Know About
                                        Did you know?

                                        •  The older a home is the more likely it is to
                                          contain lead-based paint

                                        •  Lead exposure is especially harmful to children
                                          who are 6 years old or younger.

                                        •  The dust in a home may be contaminated with
                                          harmful lead particles that you cannot see.
                                                                                              Renovation and remodeling activities can make
                                                                                              a lot of dust that contains lead.
                                                                                            •  You have a right to find out if a home you plan
                                                                                              to buy contains lead-based paint or lead-based
                                                                                              paint hazards.

                                                                                            Read on for information to help you make the
                                                                                                right decision for you and your family.

Why should I be concerned about lead-based
paint when buying a home?
Today, 83% of private housing and 86% of public
housing built before 1980 contains some lead-
based paint. That's because lead-based paint was
widely used in homes during the early part of this
century. While the use of lead-based paint began
to drop in the 1950's, it was not stopped altogether
until it was banned for home use in 1978.

How can lead exposure affect  me and my
Even   exposure to   low  levels  of  lead  can
permanently affect children. In low levels lead
exposure can cause—
•  Learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder,
   and decreased intelligence.
•  Speech, language, and behavior problems.
•  Hearing damage.
•  Decreased muscle and bone growth.

While  low level  exposure is most common,
exposure  to high  levels   of  lead  can  have
devastating effects on children, including seizures,
unconsciousness, and in some cases, death.

Lead exposure can also be dangerous for adults.
In adults, high lead levels can cause—
•  Harm to a fetus, including brain  damage or
•  Fertility problems (in men and women).
•  High blood pressure.
•  Digestive and nerve disorders.
To get more information about lead exposure,
especially   effects  on  children,   call

Is all lead-based paint considered hazardous?
Lead-based  paint that  is in  good condition is
usually  not  harmful.  Lead-based  paint  is
considered a hazard if it is  peeling,  chipping,
chalking, or cracking. It can also be hazardous if
it is on surfaces that get a lot of wear and tear or
that children chew such as—
•  Windows and window sills.
•  Doors and door frames.
•  Stairs, railings, and banisters.
•  Porches and fences.

Are  there other sources of lead hazards I
should be aware of?
In addition to lead-based paint,  other common
sources of lead hazards include—
•  Lead-contaminated   dust.   Lead-painted
   surfaces that are deteriorated, bumped and/or
   rubbed together can contaminate household
   dust. This dust can  gather on surfaces and
   objects that people touch. This is especially
   important if you have young children who crawl
   and put things in  their mouths!

•  Lead-contaminated soil. Exterior lead-based
   paint on homes can flake or peel and get into
   soil.  Soil  near   roadways   may  also  be
   contaminated from past use of leaded gasoline
   in cars. Lead-contaminated soil  can also be
   tracked into the house—creating more lead-
   contaminated dust!

Another  potential  source   of  lead  is older
plumbing fixtures—such as faucets, lead pipes,
and pipes connected with lead solder—which can
contaminate drinking water. Restrictions on the
use of lead in plumbing fixtures were expanded in
 1986, and again in 1988, but some lead may still
be found in pipes today. Call the Safe Drinking
Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 for information
on lead in drinking water.

Why is  buying a home a good time to think
about lead?
A vacant house presents a great opportunity to
address identified  lead hazards  safely. That's
because  there  are  no   concerns  about
contaminating your family or belongings during the

The seller of a home built before 1978 is required
•  Tell you about and give you any records on any
   known lead-based paint hazards in the home.
•  Give you a copy of the EPA pamphlet  titled
   Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.
•  Offer you—the  buyer—10  days,  or another
   mutually agreeable period, to have a certified
   lead   professional   conduct  a  lead   risk
   assessment or inspection before you buy the

What are the differences between a lead risk
assessment and inspection?
•  A risk assessment is conducted by a certified
   risk assessor, who will test dust, deteriorated
   paint, and soil to identify lead hazards. A risk
   assessor will also suggest ways to control such
   hazards. A risk assessment is usually the most
   appropriate tool for assessing lead hazards in a
•  A lead inspection is conducted by a certified
   inspector or risk assessor,  and  tests only
   painted surfaces to tell you the location of lead-
   based paint. It is important to know where lead-
   based paint is in the home so that if you or your
   contractor disturbs it, additional lead hazards
   are not created. This is particularly important if
   you plan to  renovate, remodel, or disturb paint
   in the home you are thinking about buying.