Health Effects of Lead

Lead-Safe Certified Firm "tree"

Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the United States.

  • People can get lead in their body if they:
    • Put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths.
    • Eat paint chips or soil that contains lead.
    • Breathe in lead dust, especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces.
  • Lead is more dangerous to children because:
    • Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them.
    • Children's growing bodies absorb more lead.
    • Children's brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
  • If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:
    • Damage to the brain and nervous system
    • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
    • Slowed growth
    • Hearing problems
    • Headaches
  • Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
    • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)
    • High blood pressure and hypertension
    • Nerve disorders
    • Memory and concentration problems
    • Muscle and joint pain

Are you renovating, repairing or painting a home, child care facility or school built before 1978?

Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Protect your family with American Office Services knowing that we are a Lead-Safe Certified Firm with the EPA.

Read EPA's pamphlet on renovation, repair and painting:

Are you planning to buy or rent a home built before 1978?

Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly.

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting or buying a pre-1978 housing:

  • LANDLORDS must disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint.
  • SELLERS must disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to ten days to check for lead hazards.

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