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According to The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHSS), “Most of the lead poisoning in Massachusetts comes from lead paint dust in older homes.”

Homes built before 1978, which are many of the homes in the Bay State, often have lead paint somewhere, most frequently on windows and other trim. As the paint ages and cracks it forms a dust that can be particularly problematic for young children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years.

Why Is Lead a Concern?

Lead is a toxic metal that can be found throughout your home. Exposure to lead frequently occurs without any symptoms but can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. (Also see: Common Myths About Lead Paint and Children.)

While old paint is the most common culprit of elevated lead levels, it can be found in various places throughout your home including contaminated soil, old plumbing, brass or chrome-plated fixtures, or even your child’s toys.

Children should have their blood tested for lead when 9-12 months old, and at ages 2 and 3.  If doctors identify that your child has lead in their system at a level that concerns you or your health practitioner, you may choose to identify the source and establish if the lead can be safely removed from your home.

If you are renting your home and have concerns about lead within it, you should speak with your landlord. Your landlord may not evict you or refuse to rent to you because you’ve requested a lead issue be addressed.

EOHSS offers a wide variety of information about lead concerns and removing it from your home. Here are seven links to get you started:

  1. Help Finding an Inspector, Private Risk Assessor, or De-leader
  2. How to choose an Inspector or De-leader
  3. Advice on De-leading you can do on your own (including encapsulation)
  4. Financial Assistance for De-leading
  5. Information on Interim Control (correcting urgent lead hazards)
  6. A database of lead inspections for Massachusetts homes
  7. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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