When lead paint lurks, take precautions

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A recent column on exterior painting drew a couple of comments about the importance of recognizing and protecting against lead-paint contamination. The home we were writing about was not originally painted with lead-based paints, so special precautions did not apply. We suggested that sanding paint defects to a feathered edge and water blasting were preferred methods of surface preparation. That's absolutely true if lead-based paint is not present. But if you suspect you're dealing with lead-based paint, extra precaution must be taken to avoid spreading the contaminant. Use of lead-based paint was outlawed in California in 1978. Homes built before then, likely as not, contain some lead-based paint in primers, fillers and top coats. White lead was a common ingredient in paint before it was banned in 1978. Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause a range of health problems, including behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, seizures and even death. Lead poisoning occur...