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Now that the world knows about many of the toxins people were exposed to in the past, they're used less and less. For instance, people know that lead has the potential to be dangerous, so it is no longer included in paints. However, it wasn't until the later 1970s that lead stopped being used.

If your property was built before 1978, there is a chance that there is lead-based paint inside. The use of this paint has been banned since 1978, but that doesn't mean that it isn't still a risk to some homeowners today.

If you repaint, is the home safe?

That depends. To begin with, lead is not usually harmful unless it is in a dusty format. For instance, if you have to sand your walls to put down a new layer of paint, you'll want to make sure you wear a mask and don't sand it down more than necessary. That way, the risk of exposure is low. Repainting seals the old paint behind a new layer, so it should pose no threat unless it chips, peels or deteriorates.

What can you do to find out more about the lead risk in your home?

If you are worried about finding lead in your home, then you should look into having a paint inspection. The paint inspection can let you know if there is lead content in the painted surfaces of your home. This won't tell you if the paint is hazardous, but it can give you information on whether you have to worry about lead paint.

You can also have a risk assessment performed. This risk assessment lets you know if there is a risk of serious lead exposure. If there is, the assessment will tell you what to do. For example, if you have peeling paint that contains lead, then it might tell you to lightly sand the area and repaint to prevent further lead exposure.

Lead exposure can cause lead poisoning if enough is taken into the body over time. This can happen over years or just a few months, depending on how much is present. Children under the age of six are the most likely to fall ill from lead poisoning. Keep in mind that lead poisoning has the potential to be fatal, so it's always wise to get the right assessments before you begin sanding or painting a property.

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